Hour 23 2023

A World That Is Not This One

Okay. I’m on a roll.

I want to live, at last, in a

world that is not this one.

A world where truth prevails

and justice rains down like water,

to quote Dr. King. I want Biden

to be respected for the decent man

he is. For grieving with families

not unlike his own, and also totally

different from his own. I want the

tall Trump kid to hear an apology

from his father for using him as

a joke. A political joke. And finally,

I want an inauguration to beat all

Inaugurations. I want our rightful

President to take office, with Biden

As her vice, just because he deserves

the respect, but he also deserves a

bit of a rest. So let her take it from here,

Madame President, Hillary, we play

hail to you, hail to the priestess.

Now do all you’ve ever dreamed.

Fix health care, justice everywhere, and oh yes, Putin’s wagon.

Fix Putin’s wagon.

Hour 22 2023


For going on twenty-two hours

I’ve been quiet about the state of our country

but I’ll be damned if I’ll write about pizza now

rather than address what needs to happen,

especially with this highly perfect sign appearing

right now, as if to say, like the old hymn,

“Here I am, send me.” And so yes, I want this sign,

SILENCIO, not just silence, but SILENCIO to be in

every courtroom, every corner of that man’s life,

so that everywhere he turns he is reminded, STFU.

We do not want to hear one more peep out of you,

not one word. Then and only then may justice be served.

Hour 20 2023

Morning Ritual

First thing every morning

I pick up the first book

and dive in. In the bathroom,

it’s probably poetry – Peter Meinke,

Maya Angelou, Billy Collins, Pat Parker.

Music will substitute, if driving

(Roseanne Cash, “Miss the

Mississippi and You,” most recently)

but even then, it’s good to have Eudora

Welty’s voice, reading her own memoir.

If I ever go blind, I’ll have to have somebody

around, reading to me on request or else a button

to push, and have instant nutrition of the mind.

Hour 19 2023

War Zone

I’m in a bunker,

sandbags piled all around,

barely able to keep my head

up, for fear of incoming rounds.

I’ve taken some direct hits, already,

and may or may not be able to

withstand more. Could you help me,

carry a message back to headquarters?

I need reinforcements, ammunition,

and yes, food and water. Otherwise

I may not make it out alive. Surely

they haven’t forgotten me, stranded here.

2022 – hour 12

dearly beloved

we are gathered here,

our marriages intact

for the most part,

to see what these

ridiculous SCOTUS

pranksters will make

of us next. oh, we’ve done

the marches at the Justice Department,

the White House, the Reflecting Pool,

the Vietnam Wall, P Street Beach, you name it.

Nary a rock was thrown, not even an

insult, really. We just said our piece,

pretty please, give us the Equal Rights

for our granddaughters and nieces.

Never mind about our measly seventy

cents on the dollar or all our people

dead from AIDS. We just don’t want to

be afraid for the girls who won’t have a say.


on the signs that we carry, we mean the babies

barely grown, the lovely ones just now going to prom.

For goddess sake, don’t make them go through

this again. It’s not the abortions we want, anyway,

per se, but the right to be free of the ill-begotten.

We know what comes of babies who are hated, spawn

of rapists and fathers who had no right to take what they took.

Please read the book, The Power of Women, written

by a man, and you’ll know where to look. Spare us,

by hook or by crook. Spare them.

2022 – hour 9


I laugh uproariously at the amusing song

by Cheryl Wheeler, about the cruise ship

that got stranded out at sea, and

all they had to eat for a couple of weeks

was pop tarts and spam, airlifted from the mainland.

No one, from the most accomplished chef in a French cafe,

to the short-order cook in the greasy spoon, could make

a fine meal out of those ingredients. Not enough bechemel

sauce in all of France to dress up that awful can-shaped

substance. Yet when we were young, starving on a

cold-water farm in the Ozarks, spam was the great luxury.

We all waited, stair steps from four to twenty, eager for our slice,

browned around the edges from the skillet, and delicious.

The Zoogoers

Out on the street,

a steady flow of feet

leads to the National Zoo.

One of our Smithsonian treasures,

bison graze there once again,

and a snowy leopard paces nervously

as you pass by. The birds in the aviary

fly, but they can’t really go anywhere,

not that they care.  They like it here,

but not the elephants. The tigers, too,

would like to be somewhere else.

They would have left with the panda,

who recently went back to China,

or should I say, was summoned back

to China. Some of us wept to see it go.

What You Are


Someone read this to us in Latin
at writers group tonight, translating
as the living do for the dead, as she
does for her lover who no longer speaks,
who lives in a memory care unit down
the street, who once danced and laughed
with their little dog. And tonight I get up
and do what must be done, disassemble
the books and bookcase, get the giant
photo of Willa Cather ready to pry loose
from the wall. I do this because we, all of
us, must be free to go where we go, in our
minds or on our feet, our little feet, no one
would believe could climb such mountains!


You were formidable,

my first crush.

You surely knew the hold you had on me.

I picked up the chalk pieces, put up

the new bulletin board,

and followed you after class

when i noticed you were crying.

i had no idea what had happened

but you did, your surely knew. Your

husband was in Vietnam.  Maybe he was

never coming back. i followed you

to your car, my heart breaking on

your behalf. I gave you my most

precious treasure, a 45 of “Hey Jude.”

You smiled, and gave it back.

Somebody’s Baby Boy

So many missing people in Virginia,

you can tell a certain serial killer’s

out of jail, although last I heard

he had moved on to Utah, then

to Colorado. Very upset citizenry

in Provo and Durango, but not to worry.

He was on his way to Yellowstone,

and no one’s seen him since.

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