here i am

i thought i was hopeless,
without direction or purpose
until one day i met myself,
coming around the corner of
i almost bumped into her,
i was so engrossed in thoughts
i can’t now remember.
but there she was, clear as day,
bright as the sun,
happy to see me.
and i said, “hey, it’s you!”
and this self from beyond midlife
smiled, made her way around me
with a little dance in her step,
and said, with a song in her throat,
“get ready, girl,
your best is yet to come!”

another move

i’d love to stand still for awhile,
take a leave of absence from life
and not do a thing.
not even think, or wonder.
just be, a little while. a few years,
a couple of decades, the rest of my

lights, camera, action

she’s so glamorous!
a gem, a bauble, a sparkly toy.
her mouth is perfectly pink, rounded
in all the right places, slightly puffed
out and wanting to be kissed.
her eyes; green, bright, dishonest,
they’ve seen some things that weren’t
as beautiful as she.
hair curled and made stiff with spray,
moves not an inch around her neck.
upon her ears dangle diamonds
and rubies borrowed from the jeweler.
she walks into the studio where
everyone starts to buzz around her,
finally able to work, get the shot,
be done for the day.
she stifles a yawn, makeup is applied
by a young woman in jeans, who tells her,
don’t smile yet.
which makes her burst out in a grin.
I have to work on her mouth again, the
makeup artist calls out,
and everyone groans.


I am the roots of the oak
growing in your front yard, reaching deep
into the earth, stretching under
your feet, beneath your house
and your bed.
No one sees me there, aching
for you. still
I move through the soil and rocks, listen
for your voice, sing love songs
into the night,
waiting for you.

ever after

our first thanksgiving
you agreed to be alone with me,
away from your family in Queens.
we rented that house near Woodstock
and you chopped wood,
more than we needed, but you loved
the feel of swinging the axe.
i baked two cornish hens, stuffed
with apple stuffing,
which i’d never done before.
they were beautiful,
dark brown birds with charred edges.
you said you were happy,
and glad we’d left Brooklyn for the weekend.
there was a blue sky,
a slight chill, a fire in the fireplace.
we were married, yet this is when
i knew we belonged together, huddled
in that small bed,
our arms around each other,
the thick smell of burned wood on
our skin.

a few questions

to do it over,
to begin again,
i have to say that
i would need a lot more
i would want to know if
you felt loved by your parents.
if you voted for bill clinton,
both times.
if you made a mistake
would you come forward, raise your
hand, pay your taxes, keep up
with child support.

what do you do when you’re angry,
at the end of your rope.

would you stand up for me.
could i wake you in the dead of night
for help.
would you listen until your ears
went numb. talk until there was nothing
left to say.

could you ask for forgiveness.
would you forgive.

could you stay,
even if there was nowhere to
lay your head,
no room at the inn,
no courage in your heart.

lyme disease

stabbing pain
roaming muscle spasms
hands don’t work
dulled senses
foggy brain
i forget where i’m going
purple legs
is it MS?
can’t walk
can’t wake up
the tests show positive for lyme disease
can’t sleep
gain 20 pounds
hair gone grey
will i wake up in the morning
don’t want to wake up
lover gone without a word
no christmas
you don’t look sick
this isn’t happening
you never had a tick bite
was there a bulls eye rash?
no calls for work
no calls from anyone
blood tests
the numbers show you aren’t recovering

but at least you aren’t crying

my two front teeth

every time i go to the dentist now,
they ask if i want to close the gap
between my two front teeth.
that i’ve always had
and no one said anything before
i was 40 years old.
my grandfather was my dentist
and he must have liked the gap,
because i do.
as a kid, and sometimes now,
i’ll stick something in there.
a dime fits well,
not a quarter.

i say, no, i want to keep my gap
and whoever it is, just shrugs
her shoulders
as if i’m making a mistake.

lauren hutton had a gap that
made her famous.
she was on magazine covers
with a gap between her teeth.
i bet her dentist didn’t ask if she
wanted to close it.

so i’m not perfect
and i’m not on magazine covers.

i love the gap

it makes me smile.


i’m not wearing any underwear, i announced.
timothy’s face turned red and his lips parted slightly.

i can’t believe it, he breathed.

and why not? i raised my skirt just far enough for him to see
there was nothing there but me. and i spun around to lift the skirt.

don’t do that here, he said and grabbed me with both arms,
pushed down my skirt
and looked around.

there’s no one here, i said, as i pulled my tee shirt over my head.

you’re killing me, he seethed, and covered his ears.

his anger didn’t scare me.

i let loose my bra, unzipped my skirt,
let it fall to my feet.

he slid on his sunglasses, shoved his hands
into his pockets. stood frozen in white sneakers.

i saw my body reflected in the dark lenses of his glasses,
distorted, pale

and beautiful.


if we could find that secret, sacred place
here on this great, green earth
where we could hold each other,
breathe each other’s sorrows
and fears, we could
discover our souls are One, and there
is no such thing as suffering
or ugliness or what we call fear…
only love.

only being.