Hooray! Finished another Half-Marathon.


Family Closet

Hour 12

Family Closet


Keep the bad ones in the closet.

Sort of a family tradition to

keep the doors shut and locked.

Grown-ups kept the keys

in the liquor cabinet.

On special nights

after several cocktails,

they let the feelings out.

Children were not allowed to see

anger fly across the living room,

sadness seep into soup in the kitchen,

fear rattle the rafters.

Pretending to be happy,

compliant children kept their closets closed

until of legal age,

when they could get their own keys.



Sue Storts


Red Flag Warning

Hour 11

Red Flag Warning


Rip tides.

Big waves with rolling white foam.

Surfers in wet suits paddle out to ride.

Two women in bathing suits swim beyond the surf.

Playing games with the ocean,

like teasing a tiger,

handling a rattlesnake.

I walk the beach,

pick up fragments,

tumbled, broken pieces no longer look like shells.

That should tell us something.

We are not in charge.

Submarine recently lost,

taking rich tourists to visit the Titanic,

victim of an iceberg.

We dare to conquer,

return to our place of origin.

But no longer belong.

Maybe whales, dolphins beach themselves

trying to conquer air.

Games with the land that go awry.


Sue Storts



Hour 10

Alone (Photo of cow by Andrew Shaughnessy)



Last of his kind.

Others of his herd picked off for

hamburgers, fajitas, meat sauce.

Revered as novelty,

tourists take pictures,

then go for beef fondue.


Allowed to live to ripe old age,

like his brother the white rhino.

Pasture all to himself,

bellows into the mountains,

“Where are you….. where are you…..where are you.

I’m still here…..still here…..still here.”


Sue Storts




Hour 9



Lovely end of July, Colorado summer day,

overflowing flowering baskets hang overhead.

Little blond girl in pink snow boots

dances out the door.

Tables of people break out in

spontaneous, uproarious laughter.

Large, happy families eat, drink, enjoy patio time together.

As I smile, my so-grateful mind leaves my body behind.

Vague uneasiness as I approach the age at which my mother died.

Bones and muscles wonder

what might come next to take us all out.

I catch my shallow breath,

shoulders near my ears.


Sue Storts




Hour 8


(Music by Max Richter-On the Nature of Daylight)


Dawn comes slowly, steadily.

Feel the sun’s rumbling intensity.

Hear the morning birds.

Smell the asphalt, dirt, flowers beginning to warm.

Ominous or hopeful.

Sheds light on events in recent darkness.

Disasters illuminated.

Newborns see their first day.


Sue Storts





Hour 7



I like to eat,

perhaps too much,

put undo focus

on my food.


Of all the foods

I like to eat,

can’t think of

one I wouldn’t try.


I cook for fun,

can make great food.

I like to eat

junk just the same.


Pizza, chili,

cheese, chips, ice cream

are some favorite foods

I like to eat.


Sue Storts



Hour 6



Rose early from bed,

feet on the nice, warm, spongy floor.

Routinely crawled to the edge

to report my findings,

careful to avoid bubbles.

“Dark. Sizzling. Remains extremely hot. Unacceptable for exploration.”

Waved to my colleague on a nearby disc, shrugged.

Longed for companionship,

unable to cross the searing surface between us.

The earth moved, shifted, turned as

the spatula slipped beneath me.

I leaped to the opposite side. Safe.

Until the butter melted,

the sky rained syrup.



Sue Storts


It’s a Mystery

It’s a Mystery


How did it get here,

this tiny virulent alien?

Spied upon for years,

somehow managed to shift,

contort, leave its confines

for new, better living conditions.

Detectives worldwide search

for clues to its escape.

Did it find a map or was it just lucky?

Who were its accomplices?

Bats, pangolins, monkeys,

creatures scurrying along rainforest floors,

captive birds under stress in crowded cages,

lab technicians under stress in crowded cubicles

will never tell its secrets.

It lives among us.

Finding blame, seeking justice

won’t return it to its origin.


Sue Storts


Mountain Pinecones

Hour 4

Mountain Pinecones


Early morning Colorado dog walk,

snow still visible on high peaks.

Enraptured by pine trees.

Maybe fir. Probably not cedar.

Lacking knowledge, not appreciation.


Woody pinecones,

geometrically egg shaped, female,

crafted for procreation, catch pollen.

Tough scaley plates protect seeds from predators.

Gazed in amazement at their beauty,

so small yet rivaled the mountain vista.


Cleaned up after Caddi,

continued with my ordinary day.



Sue Storts 09/02/2023


1 2 3 9