Poetry Month – April 30, 2024 – On The Altar


The Parrot had to go.
Every time its bony claws scratched
Its breast
Its head
Its everywhere those claws can reach places
Dust floated
A fine white sheen on everything
Especially in her lungs
The beloved parrot
Was killing the beloved wife.
The bedeviled husband
Had to choose.
Bird or woman.
Pet or wife.
Even now
The fine chalky dust still drifts in and
feathers appear like small ragged specters
in their birdless tomb.

I didn’t intend to end poetry month on this twisted note. That’s how it is with writing. Often you don’t know where you are going til you get there. And then you do. Get there.

But seriously, I have loved this daily practice. Poetry is such a wonderful collision words, heart, memory and derring do.  Thank you for reading.


Poetry Month – April 29, 2024 – On The Altar


Why on earth are there so many rocks on her altar?
Did she need weighting down?
Did the people who gave them to her worry
She might float away?
Did she need some metaphoric landscaping around her?
She remembers each one.
How they arrived.
Where they were placed.
If she lets them go,
will her memories float away untethered?
Will she forget
The gift
The memory
The people
Who love her
Who feel like rocks in her life.


As I near the end of the month, I worry, of course, if I let go of each tether to the moment/memory/gift, will I remember any of it?

Poetry Month – April 28, 2024 – On the Altar


Discovered in a portable red drawer
In the corner of the altar
Fortunes from cookies
Messages from friends
Secret strips of paper with
A promise of luck inscribed.
I wonder why I kept them
I wonder why I stashed them
I wonder if I thought
capturing them would somehow fuse
that written destiny with mine.
Probably not.
Wishful thinking, I’d wager.
As promising as white magnolia petals
turning brown in the grass
with little providences written on them
in block letters
with a black sharpie.
Compostable fate.

I’m sure each one felt like kismet at the time. Maybe that was the point: To feel kissed by fate and then dance on.

Poetry Month – April 27, 2024 – On the Altar


Will the silver rattle survive the mortar fire?
Can she pack the rock with her very first
written sentence taped to it?
What about the perfect ice cream cone that Papi
made because they like ice cream so much,
can she bring it please?
And the very light,
very soft,
Very squish-able rabbit
from the storybook she love, love, loves so much,
Can she bring it at least?
What can she bring with her
after the bombing
After hiding
After bombing
After hiding
After holding her breath for so long,
Will she know her own name?

After I wrote Part 1, I wondered about what treasures are being packed and kept and carried and held in Kyiv, in Mariupol, in Rafah, in Gaza.

Poetry Month – April 26, 2024 – On the Altar


Always one or two
Found their way into my fingers
My hand
My pocket
Always as I walked
I’d turn them
Over and over
Feeling their round smooth surfaces
As we wondered about
The surprise
The interruption
The incompatibility
The rightness
The wrongness
Of us
Of them
Of the big tumbling world
Always we wondered
While those little white rocks
Held their own
Held me
Carried me home