Friday, December 26, 2008


Squinting up from
under my heap of
loosely- piled,
lightly towell-
dried hair,
I thought
I saw
a couple
embracing in
your doorway.

And it was not
an ordinary
embrace –
It was a post-
war front page
photo embrace!

But as I reached up to
to rearrange my head
wrap for a better view,
I realized it was only
an optical illusion—
the happenstance
way the jackets
and hats hung
on your coat rack.

That never happens
down in Florida.
There are
no coat racks—
and it is always
too hot to hug
like that.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Wrong

I tried to help you with chores;
but I bought the wrong brand,
the wrong size, the wrong color,
the wrong fabric—so many times.
I remembered to get the red grapes,
but they were not seedless. I brought
back some ice, but you wanted cream.
I gave you a pencil, but you had no pad.
I hauled some wood, but it was not clean.
I brought a hand-woven shawl from France.
You kept it for twenty-three years,
then returned it to me, unworn. I draped
it over my head and shoulders, arms crossing
my heart. I have worn it now hundreds of times.
I gave you a verb and a noun, but you had to split
my infinitives. I gave you a vacation, but it rained
every day. I gave you a one-serving casserole
dish, but you had no room on your counter.
I gave you a mirror to reflect the light,
but you kept your chair in the dark.
I planned a party for your birthday
every year, but the plates were too
cold, the food was too hot,
the children were too loud,
the adults—too many, and late.
The open door called in a draft,
leaving the room too chilly.
If only you had held onto
that shawl from France—
But it was green
and white wool,
and you were,
as always,
in blue.