an openness, an absence

the writers
serving themselves and each other up
alline’s fresh sweet soft just-the-right-ratio-of
cinnamon rolls alongside a bowl of
scrambled eggs
a last breakfast version
of a last supper
box by box eric and i move
the letters
the journals
the clothes
from cool ranch to truck to lookfar
turning a pileup into an openness,
an absence
so glad i get to hear
the first spring peepers i say
about the spring sound that started this afternoon
as just one or five or ten and by evening
has turned into a whole chorus
the clearest northeast missouri signal
that spring is starting to unfold
(grateful i get to catch
another wild spring blessing
before i depart)
how i fling open
the kitchen window
in mid-casserole
just to let the sound
of them (a rise-fall,
a kind of music,
a maybe more see-through sound than solid,
a repetition,
not bells but almost but with less resonance) in
is it a casserole i ask in wisconsinese of
kris’s mystery frankie’s-last-supper dish
i used all three cans of tuna kris says
IT’S TUNA CASSEROLE!!!!!! i yell
until now having completely forgot
that there was such a thing and just how much
i loved it as a kid

in the sun in the air

the springiest spring feeling
in the sun in the air
flannel sheets flapping on the line
in the wind

a patchwork of blankets
under the burr oak where we picnic
(salmon cakes and potato salad and cheese and bent and dent crackers)
in commemoration of trish’s birthday
all this wild wind moving across the skin
and fine swirl of hairs
of a not-yet-two-week-old
whose animal-eared hood
slips off his heavy head
every now and then

feels like a celebration

something about it i say of the geese calling as they move across the bright blue sky
that feels like a celebration
perched with moonstar the black cat over
by the bike shed i spot
the season’s first two mosquitoes hovering
last supper kris says of my request
to feed the cats one last meal
in response to her request
of her starting the cat feeding responsibilities
while i am still here so that if any questions come up
she can ask me
sharon and i waving
at the oncoming freight train
us above, it barreling below
car after look alike car
we talk over the rumble squeak rhythm
while jack the jack russell braves the sensory onslaught
standing close between us
like chocolate sharon says of the nongraveled section of underpass
rutted deeper than i’ve ever seen before and
dark and rich in color
re-enacting one of our first moments together
sharon and i grasp hands and jump over
(instead of into, this time)
the creek where there is usually not a creek
and exclaim afterwords about
what a good day it is
for a polar dip

the morning light coming in again

how i tug down the tacked up blanket
from the south facing loft window and
for the first time since october
the morning light coming in again
across the pillow and across my face
emory and i up on slater’s hill
on our backs under all that blue sky with all those geese going across it
sometimes glinting/flickering in the light
and we keep looking for the end
of all the shapeshifting Vs
and not finding it
the ground grain corn
its paleness
scattered in perfect circles on the altars
set at each garden made of
bee boxes and seed flats
motherfucking joy kris says
at the garden opening ceremony’s closing
where we share our visions for
the gardens this season
(of which mine was: just the right amount
of abundance)

the ice strikes

the morning slippery and sheeny
the ice strikes again i say walking
carefully over the thin slick layer
while the ice coated branches
crackle with movement
walking foot or rolling foot my mom
the quilter says suggesting what’s necessary
for finishing this fabulous
scrappy baby quilt
intended for a birdie
it happened so quick mom says
about my aunt who passed away
with stage four lung cancer
gathered around the salmon
from the no-longer-a-brother-in-law
and pasta and salad brought over by neighbors
the note on the farewell gift reading
because every transition and every tour needs one of these
and wrapped inside the fabric is
a short-shorts emeraldblue sequinned longsleeved plungingneckline onesie
which i pull on over my tights
to dine in

the icy everything

a sheen of ice on our road and the comic relief
that birdie-the-cat brings
as she slips around on the icy logs on the path
the icy path
the icy grass
the icy everything
the babiest baby lamb
(black and white)
in the arms of an approximately twelve or thirteen year old human
in the waiting room
at the vet clinic
i make reference to a bumpy slide
while explaining how the other day i said i made it over a hump and i thought that was it
but turns out today had its own to offer too
shit’s getting real i say
(T-minus 7 [days] and counting)

raw is a word i use saying
it seems hardest to ask for help
at the times we need it most

arms arcing over

the vision of walking away through a tunnel
of people, their arms arcing over me
as they lean in to whisper/sing their blessings
because this might be the toughest part of tour i say
about booking and registering and promoting
when asking for encouragements
for this thing soon to be embarked upon
not much distressed meowing
but i can feel the feline tremors
through the plastic of the pet carrier
that i tote mama cat in
the thunkthunk of the dimensional lumber
against the metal wheelbarrow walls
as sharon and i toss the remnants from the furniture store
down from the back of the truck
at dinner,
upon walking down to cool ranch
a noticeable absence
of my daemon/mama cat
not bounding beside me
past the mushroom logs and the cat-climbable trees on the way