After (An Anaphora)

I was older after hearing sirens screaming, louder, closer.
After breathing in a hospital’s death-hope-antiseptic breath
After meeting the rawness of desperate faith in tired eyes
After seeing tears and pain jumble with joy into normality
After feeling secure in peace as inexplicable as all else,
After watching her almost die, after watching her scarcely live,
After knowing she was a miracle breathing, moving, speaking –
After staying only eight years old by days, by weeks, by years,
I was older far – after all – by hopes, by prayers, by tears.




As the page turns it glows gold,
Gilded in its going with a glitter
That outshines pale sunlit day.
I scramble up the white sheet
To gaze like Lot’s wife on that
Glorious burning city, at its zenith
In the eye of she who leaves behind.

This page has left the consolation
Of its day of grandeur arising
When no longer bound between
Golden fire and gleaming cloud,
Allowed its due of glazing gold
When all its light is past.

Portrait of a Girl in a Yellow Dress

The brightness of red hair, the brightness of a bubbling heart – she is the girl blowing dandelion dust and spinning dizzy circles in green grass, still living alive at twenty-one. Heart-shaped face, fair skin, eyes like sky reflected in sunlit puddles. She belongs to the sunshine and she spills it out recklessly in exuberant words, in rippling laughter. Beneath the yellow lies a golden heart. Beneath the high-floating happy notes hum deeper chords, clearly heard by one who leans in to listen.

A Portrait of Tigga Watson

The name of a heroine and a look to match – springing autumn hair restrained to braids, soulful eyes that snap with life beneath decisive brows, a vast raincoat of navy blue. Something like the sea or like a sailor, strong and real and distant. She knows storms, knows that adventure both glows and groans and still she steps forward, those golden ocean-wave eyes open wide. She feels the waves’ churning to the depths of her soul, the blessing and the burden of she who loves much.


Once I found that I was made of water
And not of stone, my self could swirl
And ebb and flood and flow out
Into channels unforeseen, unlocked
From inner ice. Frozen feelings freed,
Shifting out of the safe, steady normal,
The person I’ve come to expect in
My reflections trickles out like tears.
I thought that I could rely on her –
But I see some of the girl dripping,
Some of the woman pooling into
Unexpected reveries and reactions,
Caverns in the resolute foundation:
Moving liquid life, caught in time’s current.

Written Fall 2016

Light Rays

I think in lines
Like light rays running
Backward to a weary
Sun so blinding bright
That I don’t see a future
Bathed white, undefined
By past time.

But rays aren’t real,
The lines can’t bind
To cremating identity
No longer mine.