# 12 Glowing Night

We parked the Jeep

and watched the moon rise over the lake.

Only a few clouds


with the glory of the moonlight.

The entire sky lit up with stars,

a universe-sized canopy of fairy lights

The baby fell asleep

in her car-seat.

We watched

for shooting stars



fell asleep,





#11 Orphan Annie

The vet called,
“I’ve got a dog for you,
if you want her.
She just wandered in.
Some part Brittany Spaniel.”

We called her Annie
for Orphan Annie.
Annie liked being petted,
playing chase with the kids,
going to the lake.

But, food.
Oh, Annie LOVED food.
Dog food.
Cat food up on a counter.
An entire bag
of individually wrapped
chocolate candies,
including the wrappers
and part of the bag
before we caught her.
Half a watermelon,
including the rind.

Annie stayed for months.
Then one summer day
Annie took off again.
The vet said, “Maybe, she was just a traveler.
Some dogs are.
Say for a while.
eat for a while.
and move on.”

We missed you,

#10 Excellent Stories

Where would we be without excellent stories
to fill our imaginations with dragons, magic, and mystery?

It’s a blessing to go to Narnia or to visit Harry Potter
on a long road trip
or reading together
snuggled with the kids
in the big bed
when the electricity is out.

Charlaine Harris can take me anywhere
I’ll take off to Discworld with Terry Pratchett
and spend dark nights on starless planets with my old sci-fi friends.

New choices
A vacation from the now.

#9 Mountain View

Hold this picture.
Dive in.
Be there.

Close my eyes and hear the sounds of the mountains
The splashing and laughter of the river
The breeze, always
Whispering and telling stories of times no one
but the mountains remember.

Breathe in
and bathe in
The clear, cool air so fresh
The fresh green scent of
pine and growing grass.
The sweetness of mountain wildflowers.

Shadows of clouds move across meadows.
Eagles glide over, hunting.
Deer step lightly and carefully.
Stretch out my arm,
Reach across the valley,
and touch them.

Lay down and sleep in a mountain meadow.
Wake renewed.

#8 Colorado Garden

To have a successful garden in Colorado
You must repeat a series of actions
First, there will be enough sun,
so cross your fingers and hope for rain

You must repeat a series of actions
to grow and harvest vegetables in the dry sunshine
After crossing your fingers and hoping for rain;
you may give up and start dragging a hose around

So you’re growing vegetables for harvest in the dry sunshine
But, then you must protect them from pests
You started dragging a hose around for water
You may start dragging fencing, too

You must protect your beans and squash from pests
Like bunnies, deer, raccoons, and squirrels, too
You may start dragging fencing, too
Snow fence or dog pens. Hurry!

I like bunnies, deer, and squirrels, too
but I want to harvest something.
Snow fence, dog pens, post and wire
I just want to harvest something!

#7 Fear of Forgetting

“Daddy, you didn’t take your pills.”
“I did take my pills.”
“No they are still on the counter.”
Daddy remembered seventy wonderful years with his wife,
But not that there had been two different wives.
He remembered the fear and confusion as a young sailor at Pearl Harbor,
But not where to find the door to the back yard.
In his bed at hospice, he didn’t recognize me.
He didn’t recognize my daughter.
He didn’t recognize his neighbor.
But he petted and remembered and held our little poodle mutt.

Sometimes I forget things.

#6 Sand Dunes for your Spirit

On a road trip with no rules, Danielle said,“Look! The sign says, Great Sand Dunes National Park. Should we go?” My daughter and I had no idea what to expect when we decided to visit. Row after row after row of sand dunes pile up against the mountains. The sand is too hot to touch with bare feet for much of the day; but a shallow, wide creek runs the entire length of the dunes. The puppies could not get enough of running in the creek. Fascinated by bubbles in the water; they chased and tried to bite them. At night, the porch of our cabin showed a sky more full of stars than I had ever seen.

Sand dunes climb to sky

Cool creek refreshes spirit

Soft blanket of stars

#5 I Remember

I Remember

The line for the single pay-phone in high school
After school
If there was a game
Or a meeting

Adjusting the rabbit-ears on the TV
to get one of four channels
Hearing the Star-Spangled Banner
when TV ended for the night.

Using the card catalog
to research for a paper
Searching the stacks
finding unexpected treasures

Wondering if my kids were alright
when they went out
with friends
especially as teens

#4 Butterfly Garden

A sunhat on her head and flip-flops on her feet

A hunter with a bottle for caterpillars

Treks to the field at the end of the street

A field with an apple tree and full of milkweed

Right for a seven years old scientist and caterpillars, too

Jen has a well-thought plan and a question

Is the field filled with wings or caterpillars black and gold?


The field sits warm in the morning sun

Are there caterpillars or butterflies?

There are buzy bees, ants in hills, and grasshoppers by the dozen

But the bushes are empty of caterpillars and of butterflies, too.

“It is too soon, you just can’t be gone,”

Jen checks her book and sees a picture

“Ah Ha!” she cries and looks so close at the milkweed plants she sees.


“This isn’t a flower bud hanging here, but a chrysalis, for sure!

I’ll take some home to hang them in the garden

I’ll watch the butterflies come out

I’ll give them a bouquet of milkweed flowers

It’s perfect!” she says with a shout.

#3 Before Darkness

Just before darkness is best time to walk

The sun is so low

the light does not beat down on you,

tiring you before you start.


As the sun sets, the earth holds all the heat of the day.

But carry a sweater,

High, dry air cools fast.


Before darkness comes,

find a warm boulder to sit on

or stretch out on

and watch the sky show begin.


Just before darkness,

close your eyes to feel the earth turning.

The sky darkens and stars

on top of stars

and more stars

begin to appear.


Do you remember their names?

If you don’t, make up your own.

You watched their birth

just before darkness.

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