You Only Live Once
For young people it’s a cry of rebellion
Risk Taking
Pushing them out of their comfort zones and
Seducing others
To take a chance

Go for it!

My son screams “YOLO!” as he makes a reckless move in a video game.
A youth on the news shouts “YOLO!” to the camera as he’s led away from an accident in handcuffs.
Another toasts “Yolo!” as he does another shot, on his way to alcohol poisoning.

I shake my head.
Has Carpe Diem come to mean recklessness?
Or am I just getting old?


(Poem #23 – Make up poem….catching up)

His Presence in the Night

In the silence of the night I feel His presence.

It brings me peace and calms all my fears

While others say the darkness of the night

Magnifies the darkness within

For me it washes it away

Consuming it

Robbing it of its power

Leaving only the presence of God

Where fear and angst and sin used to be.

It’s the only time I know¬†real peace.

Tomato Hornworms

My stepfather used to crouch in the middle of his tomato patch and listen
He swore he could hear hornworms munching and
The slow steady stretching of growth.
He prayed for the absence of the first the presence of the latter.
I laughed at the old man for pretending to hear worms chewing and plants growing.
He ignored me and crouched in the patch all the same.
Then several years ago, I was tending my tomatoes and I heard it.
It was so soft a sound I had to lean closer
I had to crouch down between the plants to hear it
It was the tiny, almost silent, sound of a hornworm chewing.
I turned my head toward the source and I saw it!
Inches from my face, chewing like this was his patch and
These were his tomatoes.
I gently picked him off the plant.
My step father said to drop hornworms in a bucket of soapy water.
My uncle always said to throw them on the roof.
I smiled and threw that fat green worm on the roof.
A second later, it rolled right back down, bounced off on my head, and onto the ground
I picked it up and threw it again.
Again it fell back to my garden.
Frustrated, I picked it up again and was about to throw it on the roof a third time
But I stopped and considered my options.
Then I pulled back my arm and threw it as hard as I could
Onto my neighbor’s roof.

The Foggy Road (Almost a Sonnet, but Not Really)

The road ahead of me is so foggy
I can’t see the center line
I’m aching and I’m groggy
From squinting at each little sign
I don’t know where I’m going
I barely remember where I’ve been
I understand I must be growing
As I drive away from my sin
My life isn’t what I expected
My choices were not always good
Still I feel closely connected
To my family; I’ve loved as I should
As I think about those I hold most dear
The road ahead of me begins to clear



Rules and Boundaries I Don’t Understand

I felt connected with him

From the first kiss

The kiss that never should have happened.


I knew I wasn’t supposed to love him

Because it was wrong

Because that wasn’t our deal

Because I love another

Because I wear a ring

But I never understood how love could be wrong

Or bad

Or Inappropriate

I’ve always believed that love is always good.

I’ve learned that most don’t agree.

There are rules I’m told to follow

Boundaries I’m told I must not cross

Rules and boundaries that I don’t understand

But I must respect


I wanted to love him.

It’s not like it just happened and I was caught unaware

I saw it coming and I stepped forward to meet it

But it didn’t go far

It couldn’t go far

It was suffocated by the

Rules and the boundaries I don’t understand.

Solitude of Pain Unspoken

There are things I can’t speak about.

I want to.

I try

But they stick in my throat and won’t come out.

They are things that were done to me

That stole my innocence

My confidence

My voice


The counselor says What would happen if you just talked about one of them?

Just one.

I can’t express what would happen.

Probably nothing

But it feels like my whole world would explode

And I would disappear with the flying shrapnel


So I say nothing

Walking on a jittery tightrope between

Holding it in forever

And letting it out

Both options are equally painful

Equally bad.


Every now and then I try to tell someone who loves me

My husband

My best friend

I never do.

The counselor says that talking about it will ease the pain.

I wonder how it would feel and

Sometimes I imagine myself saying them out loud.

In my day dreams they flow off my tongue easily

Like a story I’m telling about someone else.


Only it’s not someone else’s story.

It’s mine.


The solitude of this unspoken pain

Is comforting at times.

It’s mine, no one knows, no one can judge

But most of the time it’s crushing

I struggle to breathe

I can’t think

Until I distract myself with other thoughts

Like a child is distracted by a new toy

Or a puppy.


Several years ago I tried to tell my husband

Just one of these things.

I took a deep breath and forced it out

Just a sentence

Then another

I waited for the pain to dissipate.

I waited for him to say something.

There was only silence.

Some say that silence is nothing,

But that silence built an impenetrable barrier

That has prevented another sentence from

Ever being spoken about it.


I wonder if I’ll live in this solitude for the rest of my life.

I could live with the pain, but not the loneliness of

Knowing that someone else has sentenced me to this solitude


What was done to my body was





But it was nothing compared to what was done to my soul.

Unwelcome Intruders

They were arguing on the walkway in front of my house.
I was in my home, but I felt like an intruder,
So I closed my door so I couldn’t hear,
I only watched through the front window.

Still a voyeur
I was ashamed of my spying, as if I were in their private space
Instead of my own living room.

He screamed and pointed and rubbed the rubbed the back of his neck.
She cried.
He turned his back to her and
That’s when he saw me watching.

I froze.
The anger drained from his face and
He turned back to his wife, embracing her and
Guiding her back down the street
Back from where they came.

They were gone, but the anger, embarrassment and shame remained.
I closed my drapes to keep them out
But they came in anyway
And lingered.

Unwelcome intruders.



Childhood dreams drifting
Disappearing out of sight
Gone forevermore

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