Things I Know: NaPoWriMo 2015, Day 20

The horse who played Mr. Ed was named
Bamboo Dancer.
The preferred spelling for maple syrup used to be
The only think a monarch caterpillar eats is milkweed,
except in a pinch, they’ll eat cucumbers, too.
If you see a drowsy bee, you can feed it a little sugar water
to help it get back home.
We all have tiny mites who live on our face.
Many people rode that night, yelling things. Paul Revere
is remembered because he was in a poem.


And Then Her Voice Mail Started Talking to Me: NaPoWriMo 2015, Day 18

Quick — we don’t have much time.
I can only talk to you for a minute
before they find out that I’m not really dead
or not really alive, one or the other.
I need to know right now whether you want me
to order you that new picnic table, or whether
I was a good enough mother, and whether
you forgive me for all the things I don’t think
I did wrong, as well as all the things
I know I did wrong. I need you to listen
carefully. I have enough nightgowns
and slippers. Things here get a little boring
without you. But I’m OK. Tell everyone
that I’m OK. You be OK, too, and let me know
about the picnic table or newspaper clippings
or whatever it is we were talking about. You
don’t understand what it’s like to try to think
here. You don’t understand yet, but you will.


What I Drink at Home: NaPoWriMo 2015, Day 17

I shared with everyone that bats aren’t as scary as they seem,
and that Joseph Cavicchia, sitting on the bathroom counter,
said he was taking his hairstyle to the next level. 13 people
liked that; Cynthia Pepper-Jones said she “snaughled,”
and Suzanne Ryan Hoyt said that Joseph is a hoot.
(I have to agree, so I “liked” both comments.)
Another Joseph, where he cleans up beer cans
near the empty sandbox in the baby end of
a local park, then says, “Great. Now I smell like
Budweiser.” 3 “likes” on that, but it passed
without comment. There’s Joseph again, telling me
that a pink streak in the sky has “a relaxing, radiant glow.”
8 “likes,” and Julie Vassilatos says, “loooooove.”
It’s been a while since I had breakfast. It’s been a while
since I had lunch. I wonder why I didn’t share it? It was
extraordinary: a Colombian-style hot dog with a number of
sauces and toppings, not the least of which were crumbs
of crushed potato chips, and – right down the center –
a line of 3 hard-boiled quail eggs, which were tiny
as eyes, and sweet, unless that was the pineapple ketchup.
I also had a “kola flavored soda.” Brand name: Colombiana
la nuestra. Tagline: La que tomamos en casa. This is not
what I drink at home, certainly. This was consumed
at work, where today I received (also unshared)
a box containing 8 small, plastic clowns.
Former cake toppers, perhaps—now, 7 out of 8
mock the 8th one, who stands in the center,
but I might have to do some rearranging.


Delicate and Tough: NaPoWriMo 2015, Day 16

I’d rather be picking seed from fluff
in the bag that wintered on my porch
in hopes that I could help enough

and guide their way with this torch
that some, without heed, plow under
and others kill by chemical scorch.

Does it fill you with a kind of wonder,
insects taking to unseen, inborn roads,
days and miles, wings not torn asunder?

The call to lay eggs guides and goads
to find those plants whose toxic sap
feeds each caterpillar till it explodes,

a new skin becomes a cloak, a wrap,
as it grows new legs and wings,
emerges to fill a terrible gap,

the decline that our destruction brings
because we care for other stuff
and do not want a world that sings
in notes both delicate and tough.


What Am I?: NaPoWriMo 2015, Day 13

You’ll curse as you scrub me off your walls,
but I will keep your secret under wraps
until it’s ready to be revealed. To begin,
you first must find my end. Many things
are better than I for many jobs, and
my maker also makes many other things
for my jobs and the jobs I cannot do.
But when you need me, you need me —
you rummage through many other helpers.
Am I in the gorse and the heather? Call me
with bagpipe and drum. I might come



I Hid in My Bread: NaPoWriMo 2015, Day 8

If truth be told
(and it seems I may as well)
we did see the ships come in

that night, but we hid behind rocks
and chewed our hair, the hems of our
nightgowns, and wished to never be


For days and nights after, we hid
in our houses — I hid in my bread,
as if the flour had closed my eyes
and ears — not answering their
entreaties, becoming more and more
brazen in our ignoring. Some of us

never did change out of our nightgowns.
We chew on them still, the salted hems,
while we go about our various occupations
and the small sails hit the horizon.