If you knew it for sure,
saw it there, plainly
before your blinking eyes,

if you could reach out and touch
the bounty of existence
with your quivering hand,

claim it for yourself,
for your loved ones,
for young unborn to you,

if you could suck its dripping sweetness
easily, fill yourself
your cellar and pantry

against harsh winters, unseasonable
drought, invasion of insects
or enemies unseen,

would you even hear Life’s
sacred summons in the wind? Find
yourself in your Beloved’s embrace?

Forest Park

*Still thinking about family and my hometown, as you can tell*


During stretched out summer days, when time is full and blooming

larger than responsibility, when heat-thickened air vibrates with light, and idleness hangs ripe, ready to pick,


Forest Park swells with people. From neighborhoods they stream

to the zoo, the Jewel Box, meet at the Muny Opera–
people gathering, spilling into the park itself.


And can you remember, St. Louis, that first tongue-lick of ice cream?

Can you recall the wide-eyed wonder
of walking through the Great Flight Cage?


It is summer’s lengthened hours which most resonate
with possibility, when dreams and balloons inflate.


Don’t Grow Old

“Don’t grow old,”

my father says

–my father

who is ninety-two next week,

who has played baseball

in vacant lots,

who has relished ice shavings

delivered by horsedrawn wagons,

and gazed through St. Louis streetcar

windows before the Arch was imagined–

“Don’t grow old,”

my father sighs

through long distance phone wires

or maybe beyond them,

New Age wisdom

via satellites,


with love.

June’s Wallet

smooth leather in my palm

simple to open

easily Unfolds

pocket for cards

realtor who sold her dream house

worker discounts for Penney’s and Dillard’s

two photos

youngest son in uniform

granddaughter’s sorority house

no change in the pouch

every dollar given away

–just like her heart

Meesha’s Talisman

*For Ada and her cat*

by the fourth day

Meesha’s talisman

was walking in my shoes


in clumsy rhythms

because after all

her Lady is poetry


sweetly measured

precisely phrased

and we learned

Meesha and I

With quiet cooing

And timid caresses

that kindness is lyrical

and trust sings

The Child

*For Mat who is nearly 3*

the child says

“come sit by me”

my heart dances

and I sit

at the piano

he says again

“come sit by me”

I do

and our fingers dance together

across black and white

make tigers growl

loudly then softly

birds twitter,

softly then loudly

he will not sing

making space once again

for me

The Miracle

*For Thad, age 10*

The miracle is

I can see blue—

blue sky

uplifting my gaze, my heart,

blue chairs communing in the living room,

blue dishes dotting the burgundy tablecloth,

blue wall flowing down the hall into the bedroom–

and you,

dressed all in blue.

You can’t quite hide

until you learn my secret.

Then, “Abra Kadabra!”

One movement,one garment gone–you disappear

and I dissolve into laughter

delighting in the miracle

of you.