The dragonfly says: So this is a nose.
The fly at the window says to the sky: Let me in.
The moth to the porch moon: Why are you being so difficult? Is this love? Really?
The butterfly: I think I’m going to be sick.
The turtle crossing the road: They’ll wait.
The sun to the moon: What kept you?
The moon at 9:30am: No. Over here.
The mother to her child: Do you want the truth, or do you want me to make something up?
The child to his mother: Make something up.
No longer the tulips
that brought joy, yet we
have the ranunculus. And
the tiger lilies forget
themselves here. The
cabbage roses, those languid
summer rentals, gather for
prayer with us for supper.
The sun revolves around
the bee while young Gracie
adds: “the tiger ladies are
dancing with all the tiger
I’ve heard magenta folded
five times and placed
under the pillow,
but for the little guy,
we’ll make it yellow
and he’ll be better soon.
Every night of the year my
Christmas lights are on in the
two old front trees. People no
longer laugh, but continue to
drive by with young children
whose eyes are wide and mouths
agape. Some people stop their
cars in the driveway as if at a
resort in order to take photos
among my early fireflies and
white, white trees.
In the right pocket of my barn jacket,
I carry a baby chick to surprise my niece –
visiting young Alice – who sleeps late.
The fireworks were last eve, you know.
She will be annoyed that I wake her this
early, but it’s time, age 5, that she
learn to hold the world, then let it go.
At five, I could be found at
the bottom of a kaleidoscope,
all tumble and shift, nothing
that could be saved for another
What infinite vessel is childhood!
Learning the difference between my
indoor voice and my playground voice,
the dreaded stillness and the horror
darkness. None to be saved for another
I asked God if he had a best friend.
I asked Him if He was inside lions, too.
I asked Him what hurt Paris. Then I
changed my mind. I made a deal with
Him: if I stayed close, He would, too.
I asked Him about Mom’s wine spritzers.
He didn’t know. I said that He could talk
too sometimes. I told on my Dad when he
hit Mom the time I hid in the closet. Dad
stopped living with us after that. God
moved away, too.