oh, daddy.

One Year When I got to his marker, I sat on it, like sitting on the edge of someone’s bed and I rubbed the smooth, speckled granite. I took some tears from my jaw and neck and started to wash a corner of his stone. Then a black and amber ant ran out onto the granite,...

poetry 9: a poem should always have birds in it

Singapore -Mary Oliver In Singapore, in the airport, A darkness was ripped from my eyes. In the women’s restroom, one compartment stood open. A woman knelt there, washing something in the white bowl. Disgust argued in my stomach and I felt, in my pocket, for my...

poetry 8: once I believed in you

Vespers ["Once I believed in you..."] Once I believed in you; I planted a fig tree. Here, in Vermont, country of no summer. It was a test: if the tree lived, it would mean you existed. By this logic, you do not exist. Or you exist exclusively in warmer climates, in...

Know the point of your life

“Sheridan’s gifts as a teacher were as rare as the purity of his passion. Wherein did these gifts lie? In his brilliance? Yes. In his mastery of his subject? Of course. In his capacity for lucid, concrete, and vivid explanation? Again, yes. But there is another...

poetry 7: freeing the secret gods

Family Secrets -Toi Derricotte   They told my cousin Rowena not to marry Calvin―she was too young, just eighteen, & he was too dark, too too dark, as if he had been washed in what we wanted to wipe off our hands. Besides, he didn’t come from a good family....

poetry 6: consider the hands that write this letter

How do we write? Not just the physicality of the act, beautiful enough – hands against paper – but more than that: holding the door to ourselves shut and knocking to get in, simultaneously. Lovely. Lovely. A poem first posted on 37days for National Poetry...

poetry 5: the fuel that feeds you

Hidden If you place a fern under a stone the next day it will be nearly invisible as if the stone has swallowed it. If you tuck the name of a loved one under your tongue too long without speaking it it becomes blood sigh the little sucked-in breath of air hiding...

poetry 4: pictures of home

Pictures of Home In the red-roofed stucco house of my childhood, the dining room was screened off by folding doors with small glass panes. Our neighbors the Bertins, who barely escaped Hitler, often joined us at table. One night their daughter said, In Vienna our...

strong offer friday : I am back.

After 3 years of teaching exclusively online, I am back to teaching and speaking out in the world. Not as much as I used to, because I still want and need to be home for my daughter, Tess, as she navigates her Aspie world, but I’ve missed the interactions and am...