Braced For It

Braced For It


I wear my brace day and night but nothing

seems to help. Tore a tendon in my wrist.

And life is not the same. Can’t brush my hair

or brush my teeth, or even tie my shoe. Can’t

push or pull or press without pain. I wake

up at night in searing pain waiting

for it to heal. It throbs and throbs and throbs.

I hope it will heal, but when it doesn’t,

I say a prayer. Ask for healing. Go to mass,

lay their hands on my skin, trace their fingers

on my bones, and make a wish.




I caught them watching me, saying I’m slipping

away, just like Aunt Brenda did, 50 years

ago. Sick. I’ll dig in the trash, grab scraps, torn

paper that Mommy threw away. I dig past bones

and grease and clutter of things left behind, to save

what everyone sees as junk. It’s precious.

Should be left untouched. I know they wonder

of what will become of me when I’m old, but

I have it under control. Things are okay. Not

normal but still okay. Healthy. But we’ll watch

the clock hands tick and tick and tick away.




It’s been a week since we talked and I waited

for my phone to light up with a blink, and with one

tap and a flick we’re connected. I want to say


When can we talk again? But I can’t

be reached. My phone is out of service.

But even if it wasn’t, I know it wouldn’t ring.

Water on my Skin

Water on my Skin

I squish my water bottles as I drink
so I can slurp the water through a tunnel,
snake it past my teeth, afraid of getting wet.

A splashing dolphin lamps sits above
my tv, a prize from Chuck E. Cheese,
grows dusty, always left unplugged.

I don’t shower in the rain or touch
the garden hose, I watch as roses wilt
and die, heavy with buds that will never grow.

Even when you’re lost

Even when you’re lost


the dirt knows you. Dust to dust, swirling

in the springtime breeze, whispering sweet

melodies as it touches the trees and blows

past the birds and bees. The worms and beetles

call as they crawl under rocks and mud, waiting

for the shake of footsteps to cease. You never

lose your way through the trunks covered

with vines, always guided by the stars

above, a God who walks beside.

The Week Before

The Week Before


I hear the fireworks whistle across the sky, forming

into shapes that I can’t see. I wonder when the clouds

will blow away and ket the sparks shine through. I sit

in my chair, reclining, eyes drifting into sleep,

ears wide awake, clinging to each pop! And bang!




I painted with my fingers, traced them white,

orange, blue on a black-as-night construction

sheet. As my toddlers giggled around

me, I pressed harder and harder, almost

tearing through the paper. But when they stared

at my scribbled page, I showed them how

to take a brush and smooth it all away.

Circles and dots, fingerprints that won’t leave

turned to lines and thistles streaking through dark.

As the kids got up and washed their hands, I stayed

and placed my purple fingers underneath

the wood table, knowing they would stay.

Jesus Wept

Jesus Wept


Just when I thought things were falling into place, stars collided.

Everything changed. Things began to spin in directions they weren’t

supposed to, orbiting new planets, around the sky, around

us, in a way that wasn’t meant to be. But nothing ever

seemed different when prayers were wailed at the sky.


Whenever I see the new stars bright in the night, I hope

everything will again align. My souls yearns and waits

patiently for my constellations to form and for long-lost

tears to well back in my eyes and unbreak my heart.

My car crashed through the concrete

My car crashed through the concrete


went falling through the ground

to a deep dark hole filled with broken

rocks and worms slithering around


My car dropped through the concrete

and jolted me inside. I hit the window

with a thud and dared to hold on tight


My car tumbled through the concrete

and when I crawled outside, I saw

the sunset glowing, reflecting in my eyes




Hush, hush, go to sleep, let the fog

roll over you. Close your eyes, sleep

tight, let dreams drift away.


As the sun breaks at dawn and shines

down from the sky, hear the birds

in the trees whistling softly.


As you wake, see my eyes looking

into yours, bright as day. I whisper

hums of songs, perfect melodies.