Sunday, September 25, 2011

september rain

her red van pulls away from the school yard;
grass-caked sneakers dangle from booster seats

they try to recall whether they've finished their lunches;
hazel and blue watching streets trickle past

sixth-grade hoodies slosh along the sidewalk:
happy orange-yellow-green and soggy

his thoroughbred grazes along chain link fence:
lead slack and dripping silent silver

highway cars pass the church gym;
puddle spray echoes along the wall

she sees her porch reflected in driveway puddles:
gold, with plaid curtains and an open door

it rains all friday long:
a week's worth of cares slip down the gutter.

coming to emily's?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

How to Reach One Hundred

Tips gleaned from the life of Great Gramma Gladys.

One: Travel to the other side of the world on a huge boat filled with children, without any parents. If you can thrive there, you can thrive anywhere.

Two: Work out daily, following such regiments as the long-distance, dual water bucket relay... while expecting... each of your five children.  Climb stairs every day until at least ninety-seven years of age.

Three: When each of your five children are born, and you've got cloth diapers to contend with, potty train rigorously. Like, wake-'em-up-at-midnight-to-pee-in-the-commode rigorously. Seems insane to us, but I bet it prevented them all from losing their minds.

Four: Brave the cold. It increases vitality and cuts down on heating bills. It also makes you a great mitt-knitter. (Anyone who's ever worn knitted mitts knows: there are good mitts and there are bad mitts. Great Gramma's mitts were warm. And anyone who's ever knitted mitts knows: warm mitts are hard to make.)

Five: Eat nutritious food. Always trim the fat from your steak... so that you can savour every delicious bite of it. "The fat's the best part,"  she always said.  Never miss afternoon tea.

Six: Watch your portions. When restaurant staff pre-cuts the lemon meringue pie into sensibly-sized pieces, take note.

Seven: Be assertive. When restaurant staff pre-cuts the lemon meringue pie into sensibly-sized pieces, pick up that knife and cut your own huge slice.

Eight: Don't be shy. While cutting your own huge slice of lemon meringue pie, announce to all by-standers, “Those pieces aren't big enough.”

Nine: Go to church. Whether you find yourself riding the Sunday school bus, tuning into a televised sermon, or cheering on your great-grandchildren at a nursing home, go to church and listen up.

Ten: Indulge in simple things. Pink carnations are a good choice.

Eleven: Be content. Content in long, cold winters; content knitting mitts for five children and their kids; content with pink carnations. The key to contentedness? It's in the last two tips...

Twelve: Love much. And...

Thirteen: Trust Jesus, and talk to Him every day.

Yeah, that was thirteen tips. Great Gramma wasn't superstitious.

sharing this tribute at emily's place

Monday, September 12, 2011

trouble spelling

you make me wanna
blog, baby
all true stories and shocked gasps and belly laughs --
who could resist?
you're the real deal
and you have trouble spelling

he's totally imperfect prose!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


he wets the bed, four year old
an evening sullied

he draws a bubble bath, his daddy
love poured warmly

i scrub the mattress cussing, his mommy
annoyance overtired

he is Christ to a four year old, his daddy
not i, tear-streaked knocked-down

i dry my porcelain face
to kiss his

be honest.