in the gravel road
late morning
sun slightly emerging through cloudsky
everything frost-tipped while
white bits swirl down and i can’t tell
if it’s the hoarfrost being blown off branches
or if it’s little snow bits falling
until juniper catches some on her mittens
the sharp spike shape
giving it (hoarfrost)

ice cream o’clock

right around mint-chocolate-chip ice cream o’clock time
we pass the ridiculous flower-print and puffball poncho around
trying it on and laughing while verifying
that yes, it does feel like putting on a hug

the pulses of light

in the the-sun-has-gone-down darkness
juniper and i stand along one of the curves
in the gravel road
how i pause there looking into the blinking
that seems to hover over the openness
where the major highway moves through the valley
trying to figure out
the pulses of light
and if they are linked to the sounds of sirens
traveling along the major highway that moves through the valley
it’s a reflection juniper says
of the bright blinky light behind me
blinking onto the snow
and bouncing off of that
into the foggy air around us

barely words for the blues

it’s one of the hardest games to play juniper says
about naming the colors splashed across the sky
and gathering at the horizon
as the sun sets
i agree i say
but yet, we still come up with:
neon sign for a martini bar in palm springs
prom dress that is shiny but not sequinny
tail lights
marbleized stained glass
pink easter egg

strawberry banana baby food
juice in a glass
and juice in a glass set on a table in the kitchen where the sunlight coming in through the window passes through

but maybe
in the end
there are barely words
for the blues

a wildfire named camp

i think maybe i have a sea urchin in my shoe
juniper says

about the pokey thing in her winter boot
in this wisconsin whitesnow setting
after our return
from the tropical setting of south florida
how the the photos of the burnt animals
(some dead and some alive and in good hands
their paws wrapped in bright colored bandages)
from the camp fire (not a campfire, but a wildfire named camp)
kindof destroy me

on this travel day (car,  plane, train, car)
that began at 4am
with not enough sleep

me waving out the train window
at the people lined up waving at us
who were really there to see the canadian pacific holiday train roll by
which just went past in the opposite direction we are headed

our haul

the waves
swelling and crashing
hard to believe it’s the atlantic
juniper and i take our time getting in and when we do
we don’t go far
but instead stay shore-close
where we hunt and collect the trash and plastic pieces
that roll in
(which is where we discover
that when the seaweed washes in
it is a good thing [for a plastic-hunter]
because it carries so much garbage with it)
and after an hour and a half or so of this
this is our haul for the day:

(note plastic chair arm and footwear sole for scale)
minus the jagged-edged bottom half
of a five gallon bucket
that got away
(the one that got away we keep joking
about the not-so-funny reality)
drinking doesn’t make you racist jack says
at the patio dinner table
eating beans and chips and talking about a birthday party
where friends showed exposed their racist sides
via terrible jokes that went on and on
i mean, i get shitfaced – but it doesn’t make me all of a sudden start saying racist things