Plague Year Three or is it four?

Will we ever gather again like
we used to? Maybe the younger ones
will. They already do. Us old folks,
not ready to die yet, we’ll gather in
dibs and dabs. A child and their children
here, another child there. A granddaughter,
a grandson, a visit masked. A visit after

Last Thanksgiving eve was the last big
gathering for us. After that, the covid
meandered through the family, up one side and
down the other, hitting some twice.

The novelty of zooming long
gone. Plague without end.  Thankful
we’re all still on
this side.


Cross Country Trip – 1968

I had just graduated from college. I
was leaving home to seek my fortune.
Traveling by greyhound from Detroit to
San Francisco.

My sister and I sat on the side of the bathtub talking
about “Come Back Little Sheba”, a movie we had
recently watched on television. Why we
were in the bathroom sitting on the
side of the tub I don’t remember. Something
struck us as funny., although the movie is far
from humorous. We cackled. We chortled. There
was even a guffaw before we began to howl.
Right about then, tears started and the chuckles
turned to tears. Arms around each other,
we managed to bring ourselves under
control and rejoin the household.

I did leave and go to San Francisco for a week or so,
Traveled by train back east to DC where my
sister was in college. Getting a reference from
one of her teachers, I moved on to New York
City where I stayed with a friend of his and got a
clerical job at City University. About that time
a letter from my one true love caught
up with me. After two months on the road, I
caught a plane back to Detroit and began
the rest of my life.




The circle of lights
reflects through the window,
hovering in the yard like
a flying saucer.

Cheese Toast

My sister and I sit
at the red kitchen table eating
cheese toast. The
cheese stretches between
our mouths
and our toast until the
rope breaks.

Bean Curd and Spinach

You cut the garlic in the kitchen
prepping dinner for bean curd and

spinach. Tofu pressed and ready to lightly fry
to a toasty brown crispness, a
contrast to the soft spinach and inner curd.

They said half a clove of garlic you call to
me. So you put in three? Something

like that. Combining three recipes to
perfection, the right spices, sweet and

hot, mild and spicy. Soy sauce, light or dark,
a teaspoon sugar, you cut the garlic

They said half a clove of garlic, but
can you have too much? Add some
peppercorns. Wait, where did the mild

go? Toss together in the wok and add green
onions and fresh spinach. Dinner!


Summer Evenings

At dusk, before the
streetlights come on, we
watch fireflies
flicker in our tangled green

Genealogical Correction

Dear Kris,

I just wanted to let you know that you
got it all wrong. There
was no 4th child, no twin. Those
were the people down the
street. Nothing to
do with our
family. Hope this

Love, Grampa Jones



Better Days

I’m sitting on the pavement knitting
sunflowers,  eating cheddar
cheese. Remembering better days. Times
with space enough and

Hardback books lined my walls and
I hung my satchel on a
nail before  sitting in
front of the
fireplace drinking wine, and
my  empty glass onto the hearth.

Days it was cold enough to
need a fire. Seasoned oak was piled
high in the wood room.

Not like now. Not like


The Piano

I once played The Wild Horseman on
the used piano my mother
bought for my lessons.

But didn’t like my teacher so
I quit before I could play as well
as she did.

It was an upright piano. Used. We
signed it inside the cover, back of where
you place your music.
That piano moved three times. From
the upstairs flat n Calvert, to the house
on Oregon and
back upstairs to the flat on Fairfield.

They left it there when my grandparents
died and they moved 300 miles

Decades later my grown son and
a friend went
exploring  the house on Oregon, missing half
the roof, doors boarded up or
boards torn

They found
an abandoned piano in
the wreckage. It wasn’t ours though.
Someone else
had moved on and left it

Old Plank

It's always summer, always
hot. The sky is always blue. There's a barn.

Behind the house, back
of the garden were the

My cousin Barbara and I would walk through the grass, never quite reaching the woods.

We are always young. So
much of our
lives yet to be lived. So
long, long ago.