either in the dark dark or the snowstorm

in the dream
it felt good to give up
and just lie down on the sidewalk
with my back to the ground
held up by earth
when i couldn’t deal with the thought of a long drive ahead
either in the dark dark or in the snowstorm


lisa and i laughing on the phone
about striving more to strive less


my inner furnace stoked
after we quick walk around town
watching out for any remaining shiny patches of ice
and once we get home
i lie on the back porch
under the maple tree
to listen to ki move in the wind

tooth 21

how the magic combination of:
bob ross painting clouds quietly on the waiting room tv,
the peppermint, menthol and lavender of the lingering badger balm headache soother on my skin,
the four counts in and six counts out deep breaths,
the sun magazine i half-read in my lap and,
my elbow on the chair propping up my chin so i don’t have to do the work of holding my head up myself
bring me back to baseline
from the buzz of dental anxiety
while i wait for my first root canal
on tooth 21

cognitive climate change dissonance

the cognitive dissonance between the rainboots i pull on
and the calendar date: january 16
the day filled with sprinkle and drizzle and drips
my feet careful possible surprise ice
under all the wet

how i thank the fallen pine
for ki’s shelter
where i perch
on my morning mini-pilgrimage
the sound of drip drops
on fuschia rain jacket hood

a small but important map

if i write this takeaway here, maybe it will stick:
in a Moth storytelling piece (click here),
Francine Lobis Wheeler (mother of Benjamin who was murdered at Sandy Hook)
makes a distinction
when offering support to those in grief/trauma/etc.
to not say let me know if you need anything/if i can do anything
but rather, be courageous and ask specifically and don’t sweat it
if no is the answer
for instance:
would you like me to bring a meal over sometime this week?
would you like me to host a weekly play date for our kids?
would you like to go out on a run/bike ride together?
would you like to hold my hand while we talk?
would you like to go see a movie tomorrow?


the lilting calls (not honks like geese)
that turn our heads upwards as we walk
through town (through the beginning of winter –
several inches of snow on the ground)
to follow the half V of tundra swans
gliding overhead
how we tell them we love them
how we wish them well on their great migration
and just as we are doing so
the schwan’s truck drives past
which elicits the funniest most well timed pun
of the month (year?) when juniper says
tundra schwans

me doing my best kickboxking moves
on the “push-to-cross” button
at decker and main after just missing the light
and then the text that comes in from a friend
later in the evening that says i saw you today, frankieā€¦.
waiting to cross main with J-Mo.
you were giving the “push to cross” button
real run for the money. Thanks for brightening my day!

in a swarm

the random array of clothing items
strewn and draped on various furnitures
in various parts of the living room/dining room
while ami and amber and anni and matthew and i
work up a heat but not a sweat
circling the ping pong table
passing the paddles
in a swarm of five
trying to keep the ball in play


this is not tomato-plant-pulling weather i say
in shorts and sandals in the church garden
where i thank each dried dead plant
before tugging ki from the earth
my body slow with sickness
my skin not used to sun
jennifer and i moving like molasses
and later, i want to stay up all night
listening to/feeling the mild breezes (high of 77 today)
wash in through open windows


sitting in the morning sun on the back porch
my company: the bee whose hindlegs are fat with pollen gold
trying again and again to buzz into the orange nasturtium flower
but ki is wilted closed from last night’s hard frost


on the drive home from the farm (all curves and ridges and fall colors)
what looks like it could be pollen fluff drifting in the
late afternoon autumn light is actually hundreds, perhaps thousands of asian ladybeetles
and it isn’t until today that i know
that they sound like raindrops against my windshield
as i drive through them – this mass massacre happening
under the bold gold sun leaf swirl

moving through

the man who i assume is a grandpa
(silver hair and the gate/pace of his walk and pushing the stroller with a two or three year old in it)
that i pass after just emerging from the cornfields
that line someone’s long gravel driveway –
(i miss country running so i override the thing in me
that is typically obedient about things like this
things like this meaning running on someone else’s half-mile long gravel driveway)
how i say good morning as i pass him
on this brisk morning (whose early morning got down into the 30s)
and how later, when we cross paths again
before i can say good morning again he says
time for your cool-down? and i say yep-and it
sure is cool, isn’t it)
and i like how running sends me across
other people’s paths
and i like how many runners are kind/friendly
and i like being a kind/friendly runner that talks about the coolness of a morning
with someone else whos’ also moving through it