Sunday, October 15, 2006

Going to Camp

On Monday
I'll get on the bus
with my class
to spend the week
in the woods.
All last week they chanted
while I start my packing today
with less enthusiasm
wishing I could add some
patience and a soaring spirit
in with my extra pair
of socks.
They will love their week
and I will try to love it
with them.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Poetry Thursday: Conversion

The Poetry Thursday theme of the week is to write about something in the news. I've been consumed by reading Taylor Branch's first volume of America in the King Years this past month so I've decided to use that as inspiration instead. This is a first go at it.


When I hear stories
of Martin Luther King
I imagine glue
on his fingertips
duct tape trailing
behind his feet
dispensing the materials
that holds things together
and over his head
a grey bubble
containing his words
and the beam
of a spotlight
glimmering on his lapels.

But he was just a man
falling into a moment
that grew into a
where after the singing
there was politics
among the people on the side
of the righteous
and clarity
was a haze in the distance.

This is the story--
that justice can spring forward
despite ordinary people
that we don't have to be
that we don't know the future
and change may happen
when the spokes of the world
touch in just the right way
and we, the moving objects
may be
the inception.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


I finished my story...
can I write something else?

Three different fifth grade girls
asked this question today
as if asking for a third dessert

as if I would say no...
no more writing for you today
it's back to eating vegetables

and unearth some ancient workbook
from the back of a closet

Sure, I tell them
You can write some more
smiling behind my eyes
because they've tasted
language like chocolate
words like hot cheetos
you shove in your mouth
till your tongue burns
like hot sauce

Crave it like junk food
I mutter to myself

This is just one door
in your tenth year of life
to the whole of the world

breathe the air
it's like sugar
dive in

Monday, October 09, 2006


It was a long Monday
after a beautiful weekend
in Minneapolis
seeing friends
now scattered
across the nation and world
and after a late arrival
a friend's lost luggage
and a morning
without coffee
our day was prickly
my patience thin
my girls shifting
into the
stiff requirements
of a school day
and more than once
words slipped out
the cave of my mouth
that I should have
fastened behind the dam
of my tongue.

But at the end of the day
three little girls
asked to stay behind
to use the computers
so they could work ahead.

It is this hour
between five and six
when we sit together
in the grace
of a finished day
the agenda complete
the giggles welcome.

This is the time of
our second chances.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Finishing Touches

It was just this past week
that our kitchen was complete.
After waiting and waiting and
running to the basement for water
to make coffee in the morning
our counters arrived.
Within a day
they were joined by the
sink and dishwasher
hooked up by our
grouchy plumber.

I spent the weekend cooking.
I'm smitten.