My father rummaged through closets,

looking for a box of Kleenex. Why not

Kleenex in this house with your cold.

I didn’t feel sick, but my nose was running.

I wiped it on my sleeve. It didn’t bother me.

I was a scrappy kid, bandaged knees,

a ponytail losing its rubber band.

My mother had gone out, taking the other kids.

You need handkerchiefs, he said, pulling open

my dresser drawer. He took out my white

Hopalong Cassidy shirt, which he tore apart,

handing me cotton squares. I felt protective

of him, as if he were a small sweet cousin.

No need to tell him it was my favorite shirt.

The Outfield


The Outfield


I stood in the outfield, an away game,

the school in front of me, redbrick, imposing,

no nonsense, like mine. More trees here,

more shade, more birds, grass here and there.

My schoolyard was concrete,

hard on knees and spirit. Similar neighborhood,

Chicago bungalows, pale brick apartments,

German Shepherds behind wire coil.

My neighborhood but not. A simple truth, obvious.

But it hit me hard. I looked up at a different piece of sky,

a different slant of universe not mine. Ten years later

maybe I’d call it an Existential Moment, one’s place

in the stars. Maybe a ball landed at my feet.

Maybe not. I felt woozy, like reading too late

under the covers. I was sorry to get back on the bus.



Hello Fellow Marathoners!

I’m glad to be part of this group. I write poetry and fiction but not as much as I’d like. Hopefully the marathon will give me a push forward. I’ve written Rose Has a New Walker, a book of poetry. I’ve been writing short stories, but I want to concentrate on poetry right now. I’m in the Boston area, but I was born in Chicago and lived there through college. Still miss it.

Hope you’re all doing well!