‘splosions and light shimmers

yao yao taking me by the hand
making the shush sounds and gesture
with her finger to her lips
and motioning for me
to crouch down with her
until erupting in sound
when someone discovers us
back there
madix puzzling together
his new lego kit and me
with a book next to him both of us
in our happy places
the beaker game
ami and andy and i play
awaiting guests
pouring the red/purple/green jawbreaker-looking balls
from beaker to beaker until we get
the right formation

almost midnight
seen through amber’s back door window
something rodenty
sometimes still, sometimes scavenging
a new year’s messenger

juniper and i
step outside at midnight
to listen to the sound
of a year becoming new:
light shimmers
and the first fart joke
of the year

along the banks

how driving along the driftless banks
of the Mississippi
reminds me of driving along the banks
of the columbia
such a mighty river
cutting through

oh the  gold and blues and whites
in the light as we go


well, you’re both, to some extent, animists she says
about her mom and i
when comparing whether or not i am more
like her dad who passed on years ago
or her mom who is still alive
but estranged

what some people call the new normal

the rain
and rain
and rain
that keeps coming
(lightly, but still…)

and the unsettledness
that ensues
in this thing so many have been calling
the new normal for a while now
shiz and gina on the screen
across from juniper and i on the couch
cracking up at the ridiculous answers
we’ve come up with in yet another round
of skypegories

seen in streetlight

the plate of cookies
juniper slides stealthily under the closed office door
as if santa were
rejecting the gluten free oreo-like sandwiches
and handing them off to a writer at a pink desk
who could use the fuel
the red blink blink blink
of us walking safely
in the sun-has-set dark
up the curving gravel road hill

the swirl and onslaught of snow
seen in streetlight
from my view on the floor bed
just the movement of snow on dark
without other visual context
gives it a being-out-at-sea
i watch it pick up speed
and slow down
sometimes trying to follow the whole journey
of a single flake



there must be a name for that

the waffles and waffles and waffles
with the rum-casked maple syrup
to pour on top
while the fire in peter’s fireplace crackles
and he brings out the stack of christmas books
that we page through
and read aloud from

the sun
finally breaking out
as it gets low enough to show
under the bank of clouds
that have covered the sky all day
before it dips into
there must be a name for that i say
to juniper in the train seat beside me
a name for when the sun finally breaks through
that place between the clouds and the horizon

we are eating history

bowls filled with fish soup
while salad and baguette fills our plates
we are eating history:
the soup peter’s mary always made
on christmas eve
we fill the church
with glow
passing flame
from from candle to candle
filling rows
with orbing light

the quiet of a city
on xmas eve
around midnight
as we walk miles
to meet our friends
among the others surging
out of the opened church doors
into the chilly and snowless night

one last chapter

one last chapter
of harry potter i read
outloud on the couch
to my mom’s healing knee
and to dad and juniper
before we make our way
with packed bags
into the city
sidewalking around town,
the novelty of a gluten free bakery (though closed),
a comic shop,
a sex toy shop

the cool yule cd playing
in peter’s car as we drive through
the xmas lights of miller valley
and later the fire crackling
in his living room fireplace
fed by the wood he brought
for just this occasion


i’m a kapusta fan jennifer says
at the wigilia table
where the places are set with the
fancy-folded christmas tree shaped napkins
suburban though it is
the cool air on my face
as i brisk-walk the ponds and
bendy roads
of regal manors east
the curled-in brown of the resurrection plant
unfurling and turning green
in a bowl of shallow water

we’re home

on the way out of town
i hand over the green green alfalfa sprouts
in a ziploc bag
and laura hands me a cinnamon roll
on a rectangle of white waxed paper
we’re home!  i say
after we are guided to our sleeper car
and plop our bodies and our bags into the seats
the paper solstice boats
that physically, we didn’t get to making
though in spirit
i’m sending mine down the clear cold currents
of reads creek