small parades

all the deflated halloween decorations
in their greens and purples and blacks and oranges
melted on the lawn
as if the wicked witch herself
_______
trashy i say about the malt balls
i offer as snacks
but so good
_______
small parades(not as in ‘on display’

but as in several in small groups moving along
on the same road)
of sleek horses pulling buggies that close shut
complete with windshields
we roll past in the almost dusk

on a sunday night
along highway 14

all you need to know

the grit in the back porch concrete
working as a grip
to hold my palms, the soles of me feet
as i downward dog and warrior two
in the patch of sun falling through
the hugeness that the honeylocust
has become
_______
i use the word impasse
which feels mostly right

but could use a bit more nuance
_______

how we all look like how we’ve always looked
in our photos through the years,
i spend a lot of time trying to puzzle out
which cousin is which aunt/uncle’s kid
and who lives where and who is who’s sibling
almost urgent with the need
to classify
to organize
in order to understand
that’s how it’s always been with dad’s side
but this time i try saying to myself
you’re cousins
isn’t that all you need to know

_______

i copied everything
dawn says of the vows
the decorations
the arch with the fabric woven through it
_______

elijah, nica, kathryn and i
speedwalking along the forest path
to get across the the creek bridge
and through the abandoned field as elijah calls it
(something once grown there,
now just stubs)
and onto the gravel path that lines the field
where kathryn sends milling geese up into the air
(their great cacophony rising with them)
by running towards them
_______
mom dad and chris
generating verbs and nouns
up too late around the kitchen table
to complete the mad lib version
of the wedding

the lightweightness of

the lightweightness
of mom’s blue cane
as i pick it up
to hand it back to her
in the library
where we meet
_______
three maybe four
as seen from the highways carving the route
from here to there
_______
the clothes i drape in the chilly moonlight
to air the candle/air freshener smell out
hoping the wind will pull the scent from the weave
of my sweater
my hoodie
my leggings
my scarf

we fill up on ferns

how i EEEEP! at the news
first acceptance in what feels like years
at the residency in wyoming
saying yes
to me and my work
_______

the two wild grapes each
that we find to snack on and the
dwindling sips of water that remain in my bottle
as the path with endless switchbacks (and no signs)
plays trickster with us
until finally
the water tells us where we are
and that, barring another switchback,
we are headed in the right direction
_______
how we fill up on ferns
and air
and light
topping off our critical tanks

autumn angle of sun

it’s as if we’re waiting to hear the verdict
about
whether or not women are actually humans

i say something like this
beyond-infuriated in the kitchen
when jennifer mentions
the gang rape train and
drugged drinks and
other details from another accuser
coming forward to speak up
about this dude who could be nominated
to the supreme court and take away
the rights of women
to make their own choices about
their own bodies

the rest of the day
tastes sour
and sharp
_______
the blue gray bird (heron)
wings spread wide
lifting up into air
creekside
while i bike by,
the autumn angle of the sun
splashing an extra sheen
on the moving water

the unbelievable heat

the sidewalk running down the middle of the greenhouse
like a kind of runway or track
that i jog back and forth on
and jumping-jack
to warm up
as the rain goes after the plastic walls
in falling temperatures
_______
the unbelievable heat
i step into
as the tub fills
my feet recovering
from too much wet cold
at an outdoor job
_______
how i slice and saw
at the pot pie
perfect crust
crunchy in its gluten-freeness
the air sage scented
or rosemary
or some savory fall spice
_______
the first poofs of the year
of woodstove smoke rising
from one trailer and then another
as i pull into green acres mobile estate
and drive up the hill

gray, i call out

riding a bike alone through town
the waiting at a stoplight
the taking the lane so that any car behind me
can turn right
the being part of traffic
the moving through the streets
how it’s been so long
since i’ve lived in a place
where this is part of a daily experience
yet how my body memory
knows this
easi
confident
_______

the jokingly required-by-law treats
that jennifer delivers
to my library study carrel:
a bag packed
with peanut butter malt balls
_______
the slot below the carrel barrier
where we pass notes
and markers
back and forth
including the drawing of a heart with a mane
and a cat face and a cat body drawn on
in purple and red and green and pink
_______
is it black or white she asks
as we bike up the start of the huge hill home
about the smoke i see rising in the west
gray i call out loud enough
for the words to catch up to her