Hour Twelve: Dusk



The full moon takes her throne over the lake

Shines her glory over its surface, to its depths

Crowns the canopy

Arouses fresh panic in tiny creatures

prey for owls and bats




Hour Eleven: Beach Bum

Beach Bum


They call me a bum.

Don’t talk to the dirty bum, honey, he’ll never

leave us alone


I wake before the sun, shake the sand out of my blankets

roll them up and tie them to my bike

I stretch my arms to the shivering stars

Breathe in the salty air

Ride to the public sand shower and rinse my face and hands

Heading back to the beach, I stop at the community garden

where tomatoes and peppers are plentiful now

pick a few each, leaving the rest for late risers

I bait a hook with a cricket from the garden

Cast out, sit watching my line bob in the

ancient ocean rhythm

Hour Ten: To Books

To Books


They’re home to me, books,

my history, my medicine, my love

They’re the ship, the map,

the X and the trove


Friend, foe

Wound, woe

Bound, free

Ink on pulpy tree








Hour Nine: Truant



Afterwards, everyone judged

though they, too, wished they could run.

History is only kind to those who judge, and with

a girl-child ripped from a mother’s arms, the only

cold comfort to be had was in the dusty pages

of history books.


They came for her in the night, but we’d slipped away

hours earlier, under cover of broad daylight, because no one

suspected we’d run.

We left quickly and lightly, only a change of clothes and

a sack of food.

When they arrived the only one to answer for our conscientious crime was

a baffled mutt.


We only needed make it to the other side of the bridge

and across the river.

They never found us.




Hour Eight: O. De to The Last Leaf

O. De to The Last Leaf


Through my window spy the tree

Downstairs I hear my family

The trunk is withered much like me

With brittle branches and no green


But downstairs I hear my family’s cheer

My window-tree now whispers clear,

with brittle branches, calm with fear,

“Come with me when I leave, my dear”


My window-tree now whispers close,

shortly after I lie in repose,

“Come with me, and shed the woes

the downstairs family bestows.”

Hour Seven: Pregnant Pause

Pregnant Pause


I awoke in an unfamiliar vehicle, with my husband at the wheel

As we drove, my life-filled belly swelled to greater and greater proportions,

each change in size bringing with it a different person in the driver’s seat

The further we drove, the more blisteringly swollen my belly became

On we trudged, with an unceasing parade of drivers,

not one ever giving me the wheel

The road began to rise and as we reached the summit of the hill

I looked to my right to see a severe cliff with splintered rocks

and angry swells of spume churning

Instead of beginning the descent down the hill

the car suddenly pitched right, sending the car sideways–

burgeoning me first–

down the craggy cliff towards the black water


Hour Six: Sentry



Late summer’s tree stands proudly sagged

with age-spotted greenery weeping in the

humidity. its trunk hosts industrious insects,

frantic with winter premonitions


Fierce late summer tempests taunt the tree,

daring it to shed its steamy, wilting coat



If the late summer

tree survives, she will be stripped,

abandoned, sentry

Hour Five: Scythe


Before she opens her eyes mama knows

It will be today

Her eyes open to greet the sun

She raises her hands in a yawning stretch

Pulling herself from under the heavy warmth of the quilt

Mama stands leaning on the bed, breathes in, breathes out

Daddy wakes and smiles at the news

They dress in silence, remembering a small bag before opening the door

The drive to the hospital is quick, charged with electric expectancy.


Inside the sliding doors, Daddy is detained at a desk

Mama is ushered into a cold wheelchair

Upstairs she must change from her warm clothes into a starchy gown

Lying in a bed adorned only with a threadbare sheet

Mama’s arm is inserted needles, Mama’s belly is tightly wrapped

In the bed there is no freedom, and there is no freedom from the bed

She’s not to sit up, not to stand

All eyes on the ticking machine

When the doctor decides the baby should come

All voices are rough, tense

It’s time for the baby. He’s not here so you must

push more, breathe less, lie flat, hush now

The baby does come, because that’s what babies do

and is wiped, poked, tightly wrapped, monitored

While the mother waits until tomorrow

To wrap baby in heavy warmth at home




Hour Four: (Shelter) Guys and Dogs

(Shelter) Guys and Dogs


He wakes before the sun, dressing in the dark with quiet hands

Shoes clutched to chest, he nimbly pads down between the rowed, smudge-faced boys;

the babies, toddlers, skinned-kneed kids and finally, breathlessly, past the oldest boys

he turns to grab the book on the small table, then quickly to the door

Lifting up the rust encrusted door latch, squeezing between crack

Outside, thick fog hugs the boy’s skin, threatening mildew on the book’s frayed pages.

Tucking the book into his jacket he makes his way,

kicking through piles of leaves and stepping over crushed cans

When he reaches the building, the boy walks along the side walls until he reaches the back and climbs the fence

He quickly moves to the cages and before the scruffy creatures have time to think something wrong

The boy sits in the dirty courtyard, takes the battered book from his jacket, and reads

them tales of lands without bars or cages

Hour Three: Before Darkness

Before Darkness


‘fore darkness comes the witching hour

‘fore that hour comes the tea

‘fore tea comes sleepy nap time

upon a mother’s knee

‘fore knee naps come simple lunches

of bread and jam and pears

‘fore simple food comes sunny play

amid the scrubby bushes

‘fore sun-kissed cheeks come story times

and fresh, sweet-scented clothes

‘fore newly dressed comes waking mother

with kisses to hands and nose