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mother and baby

When I see you again

if I see you again

I will notice

but I won’t mention

how the light dances

gleefully over your head

to illuminate your face

just like it danced

the last time

I saw you and

just like in the


in that dim-lit room

where you drew

your first breath

and screamed

and screamed

seventeen years ago


Buddy System

They told us to buddy up
and so we held hands
gripping tightly as we walked
along the slippery rooted trail
through the woods.

I was doubtful, but I held on anyway.

They told us to buddy up
and so we held hands
gripping tightly as we said “I do”
imagining a simple walk
through the woods.

It took a lot for me to let go.

No-brainer (day 14)

Your elevator didn’t go to the top
it clearly made an early stop.

The lights were on, shining like chrome
but when I knocked, no one was home.

Sharp as a bowling ball, dumb as a post,
you’re running on empty, you’re jam without toast.


ghostly (day 13)

My pedigree is ghostly

empty sockets completely missing

the point is my house is divided

into fractions and factions

carrying scars, relative

crisscrosses of loyalties and losses

of love and conditions unmet

regret and denial executed

before trial or peers for

years we’ve been fading

into shades into curtains

for us and the specters who

bore us our time is chiming

midnight on the lease and I dearly

dearly will welcome the peace.

Prompt: Write a family poem. I’m not this twisted usually, but the thing is, maybe I am.


Perhaps I hate sonnets (day 11)

It’s not that I hate following the rules

And sometimes we all need a to-do list

It’s just that rhyming makes us into fools

When we decide to force ourselves to twist

Our squarest words into the roundest holes

We batter beat and smash them into place

As we assume our spot at the controls

And greet mismatching words as a disgrace

Perhaps this forcing leads to great success

Perhaps I’m just too lazy to comply

I’ve seen it done before with such finesse

And beauty thrives within beholder’s eye

I guess I’ll try at last to follow through

Succeed or fail, I’ll leave that up to you


Here are the two prompts for today from Robert Lee Brewer at Writer’s Digest:

  • Write a sonnet. (Click here if you need a refresher on sonnets.) I know some folks will say a writing a form is not a prompt, but I often use forms to prompt me into poems. And I know that some folks will say they hate traditional forms. Soooo, the other prompt is to…
  • Write an anti-form poem. Write about your dislike of poetic forms. Let it all out.

I chose to do both at once.


There is nothing like the sudden
departure of everything,

of sound, of color, of your heart
beating in your chest, when your child –

the one who was just
holding onto your purse,

the one who was just
whining about something,

the one who is only two,
just a baby, just a baby still –

when that child is nowhere
to be seen, nowhere at all.

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