Back in the day

Day 30. It seems like the month just started, but here we are at the end. Prompt: write a “back in the day” poem. I have three.

Serenity now

I used to hate the serenity prayer
but eventually I accepted it
only so far, nobody has granted me
the wisdom to know the difference.


I remember Monday
like it was yesterday
before our dog was ashes
in a velvet-wrapped box.
Live every moment with love
because Father Time
is neither cruel nor kind,
he’s simply passing by.

Another life

In another life
I was made of trust
my sleeve-heart an easy target

In another life
I partied wild-child style
to take all the sharp edges off

In another life
I sat in the dark
afraid of my own shadow

In another life
I rocked a child
as if I could make that moment last

Love letter for Bo on his last day

Day 28. Two-fer. Write a love poem / anti-love poem. So much is missing from this poem, so much of Bo, our first foster dog, our first foster-fail. But I guess it’s enough to know that he was here for far too short a time, and that he loves and is loved deeply. But this is his last day, and this is all I have.

These last hours
are making tracks
as they walk across our hearts
the nails click-clacking like
paw prints in concrete
stepping stones for the garden
we will plant for you in spring
someplace sunny for you
my love,
how you’ve always loved to bask
and these last many months
we kept you in
because of the medicine
everything about side-effects
about day by day to make it last
to make you last for
just one more day

Ship of fools

Day 27. Prompt: write a blank of blank poem.

Ship of fools
(Grateful Dead golden shovel using Robert Hunter’s lyrics)

sometimes you struggle and sometimes you don’t
sometimes you borrow and sometimes you lend
either way, your happiness depends on your
gentle willingness to play the hand
you’re dealt and when in doubt, to
ignore the call or check and fearlessly raise
instead, because adventures don’t begin with no
so it’s time you hoist your own flag
set sail aboard your own ship atop
waves of yes, avoiding each maybe or no
steadily steering yourself and your ship
far away from the land of
naysayers and fools


Day 26. Prompt: write a shine poem.

By the light of the moon

the fox shrieks
certain he sounds smooth and suave

the couple holds hands
certain of love, oblivious to shadows

the fire spits
certain that oxygen means life

I sip applejack
certain of the pain and pleasure found

in simple moonshine.

Meet me at the Scarecrow Saloon

Day 25. Prompt: write a remix of one of your poems from the month.

Meet me at the Scarecrow Saloon
(Emerald City remix)

If you look you can find me
at the Scarecrow Saloon
where they still play the blues
and you can’t see the moon
I’m drinking and hoping
to dissolve in a puddle,
stupid girl, stupid shoes,
that ridiculous muddle
left me hiding my skin
and surrounded by junkies
but I have to survive
to look after my monkeys


Day 24. Prompt: write about how you will be remembered.


In the end
all I want
is for the people
who knew me
to agree
that I left
most of what
I touched
at least
a little better
than I found it.


and another:

When I’m gone

He looks down and says
“my mom’s crazy”
and I know he has reasons
for his hard words,
I know that’s why
he’s giving up his dog,
before it’s too late
(and it’s almost too late)
but I’ve also heard those words
repeated often enough
by my own children
since the divorce
when they first heard the words
and became weapons themselves
and while I haven’t heard it
for awhile now myself
I’ll never know for sure
what they say when I’m not there
or what they’ll say
when I’m gone.

Pie first

Day 23. Prompt: write a preface poem.

There has to be a beginning
but I don’t know where it is,
whether it came last Tuesday
or missed the connecting bus
and never made it out of Buffalo,
leaving us to wonder at the
order of things and whether
the meal might just taste better
if we eat the pie first.

Judgement Day

Day 22. Prompt: write a (blank) day poem.

If you knew me,
how I end every day
lying in the dark
beside the best laid plans,
and good intentions,
how I outline each mistake
I made that day
and add it to my list,
you’d know for sure
that every day
is Judgement Day.

Bonus poem:

Bad hair day

stubbed my toe
shampooed my eyes
spilled the Joe
went up a size
car got a flat
roots going gray
forgot my hat
appointment today

Sand castles

Day 21. Prompt: two-fer Tuesday, construction poem, deconstruction poem.

Those of us lucky
enough to know
about the
of sand castles
were tide-taught,
and knew
that entire realms
can melt to ruin
with a simple tug
from the moon.

Imagine my surprise
when it was I,
beside the pile
of wriggling jelly
in my moat,
who tumbled
numb and melting
to the ground
staring though tears
at my castle
standing tall.

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