Hand-Me-Downs

(for Meri)

when she was born

I thought of everything I’d give her:

colored pencils for sketching

like her great-grandma Julia

pastel paints

like her grandma June

and Contee crayons

like her Dad

she took the ballet lessons

I always wanted

and practiced the piano

like I failed to

she chose to be a teacher

a teacher and a Mom

like me

and the too-tight blazer

I handed off to her today

fits her perfectly

No Calendar No Clock

I knew a little boy
who grew up without calendars
counting the months until his next birthday

time was a stream for him
flowing day by day
to nowhere

no landmarks
distinguished one shore from another
for him

every hour wore the same face
no calendar
no clock

no talk about seasons coming
or fading into the past
because there was no past

and no future
until the little boy
was rescued by Love

disguised as a man
a man who understands
each day is a gift

and some gifts
just naturally
come in boxes

Blame The Sun

blame the sun
if I’ve spent my day
thinking
and blinking
and wanting to play

blame the sun
and the blue
blue sky
if I lazed about
Dazed about
with only a sigh

for the winds will be commin
dark days keep me bummin

every day will be rainin
everyone a-complainin

let’s ignore dust motes sailin
read
and write poems braillin

in this moment
that’s scarcely begun
let the wind kiss your cheek
fiercely love
don’t be meek
blame the sun
blame the sun
blame the sun

Writing A Poem

something stirs me
like the spoon in my cup
wrestles liquefied almonds into coffee soup

but not like that at all
not blending
not dissolving
one identity into another
not blurring for the sake
of obliterating personalities

stirring
throwing everything into the air
to better perceive each element

like the wind stirs autumn leaves
after you’ve raked them into compliant piles

like a rambunctious child
who pulls her older sister into the circle
to dance the Horah

whirling and tripping with delight
with such energy
such frenzied fun

everyone on the sidelines
can’t help watching
only her
can’t help singling out
her spasms of laughter
can’t help clapping along
whistling and stomping
maybe even writing a poem

The World

the world is veiled

like a beautiful maiden

her eyes may be visible

sparkling and inviting

like stars in the heavens they speak to you

of eternal secrets and delights

you might catch a frown

or even a twinkle

but her full scowl is hidden

as is her toothy grin

Decoding

when you read my words

you are likely to find mysterious

marks upon the page

looking like dimples

in the margins

smudges and smears

between syllables

don’t be dismayed

and don’t feel persuaded

to scamper more quickly

along the breadcrumb trail

or to linger longer

with honeybees

among clover and wildflowers

it’s only me

weeping for joy

as your face comes close

only me overflowing

with delight

to whisper in your ear

Aligned

this is the day
when the disc of the sun
aligns with our hallway

it’s quite incredible
the one time a year
when the position of the sun

throws its light
over treetops across the street

into our front windows
at 5:44 pm
down the hall all the way to the bedroom

and I suddenly feel
like some kind of princess
risen from her Egyptian tomb

Holiness

holiness is not a jewel

you hide away for safekeeping

it is not perfume or glitter

you save for special occasions

holiness is not the room

you keep locked for honorable guests

or the recipes you bring out

to show off your cooking skills

holiness is the air you breathe

every moment of every day

as you walk through the garden

and into the playground

as you weep in the cemetary

remembering

as your bones weary with daily chores

and you grumble over the cost of living

holiness walks with you

along the world’s narrow bridge

speaks with you at the grocer’s

and whispers at you in mist

if only you will Breathe deep

you will know her

if only you will Embrace the moment

you will feel her embrace