You Can Run

You can run from the darkness,
Lungs burning, legs aching,
until you think you’ll fall
sprawled in the dust of the road
and no one will look for you.

You can make camp in the night,
Sitting around a fire
with hearts who know yours,
sending your laughter up
to the stars with the smoke.

But it’s only so long.
Your shoe treads wear out.
Your kindling dwindles.
Until you sit by your self
in the dust and the dark.
And no one is looking.

You can only run
from the from the darkness
so long.

 

6/8/18

Her Own Drummer

Even armed with a wristwatch,
time is something
I never learned to keep.
Always one step ahead,
one step behind,
my own syncopated drumbeat.
I tried to keep time like chickens–
cultivating it, counting it,
trying to plan
for the next three seasons.
You can’t keep time like
chickens, no––
Keep time like children.
Close to you when it’s young,
wandering in its adulthood,
until one day it comes home, and
you don’t recognize yourself anymore.

 

3/2/15

But the Tulips

In like a lion–
the skies grey
and unforgiving.
Marching on.

The woman ahead of me,
it’s 10 AM,
she’s got two
twenty-ounce
cans of Coors on
the counter.
And nothing else.

I’m holding tight
to my soda pop;
my tears tell me–
sugar’s too low.

I need the lift.
I’m addicted to my sadness.
I keep falling
off that wagon.

But the tulips
are rising–
their pale purple
not so different
from that unforgiven sky.

 

3/1/18

Cabin Girl

Just when you start feeling like a shadow,
Ariel dresses your wounds.
Alonso buys you a drink later–
after Miranda drives you to the bar.
(She also refuses to let you walk home.)

Adrian visits while you swab the decks,
pacing like he’s waiting for the first sight of land,
always good for a joke and a word of advice.
Antonio climbs the Most Terrifying Ladder
to sit with you in the crow’s nest;
tells you a piece of his story.

And somehow you don’t even notice–
not til The Tempest’s cleared and you’ve left the isle.
And then you ask yourself
why didn’t I say thank you?

I have always depended on the kindness of strangers:
Hecate cannot tell who’s her friend.

 

2/24/15

A Ripple Effect

Water is the Great Connector–
it’s roughly seventy percent
of us, and the Earth’s surface.
The water you drank today
likely sustained a dinosaur
sixty-six million years ago.

Small wonder if our actions
ripple right through it:
the acid we dump into streams
comes back raining on our heads.
Small wonder if my voice
carries clear across the bay.

Waves are easy to overlook
because they start out small:
maybe we’ll be surprised when
the rising tide over-takes us all.

 

10/13/15