The first time an alien moved in my body, it flipped like a fish.  There were no butterfly wings, gently fluttering in my womb.  When I rested, it swam; crashing against my belly walls, a salmon trying to jump up a waterfall.  I played tennis and ate well.  I walked tall, slender with a basketball belly carrying my determined, active acrobat.

A few years later, a sloth moved in, sleeping most of the time.  I was tired, listless and large.  Food was revolting; stinking, ugly globs of gross.  Except pizza.  The sloth grew larger and started stretching her long limbs, jabbing me with her pointy knees and elbows.  With the flat of my palm, I pushed back.  She broke out of her prison womb early, anxious to stretch and coo and sleep.

This prose poem was written from the Poetry Mixtape 22 prompt: On Motherhood and Earning It.  Funny thing — I’m posting this on my daughter’s 18th birthday.  She went from uncomfortable sloth to sunshine.  And she still has long limbs.


Facing Reality

The words were a blur
burnished black barnacles
of truth, breaking
my brittle cocoon.
A few words
austere and plain
sliding from your tongue, scraped
the raw edges of
my shimmering dream, shattering
it into sharp flinty pieces.
My throat was chalk.
I jabbed at my sneakers
with the hard end of my laces.
My fingers
drenched with tears.

This poem was written from two prompts:  Sunday’s Wordle and Adele’s prompt #102.

Linking Memories

The water was an aquamarine swirl
    in the backyard Doughboy pool. 
We joined hands and raced in circles 
    before picking up our feet and 
    coasting in the current. 

I made my first home 
   in a dingy drab apartment; 
A married woman-girl 
   with rented furniture. 
When my mother saw me at her door 
   she cried. 

Paris, three am, a tiny hotel room; 
    laying side by side, 
My daughter giggles helplessly and 
    my Aries self, out of control, 
    gives in to silly laughter. 

On Mother's Day, I sat 
    in a sliver of sunlight 
    watching my children 
    beat the batter 
    so busy, so focused. 
I held my warm black Starbucks mug and 
    drank deeply. 

I sit in a faded chair 
    by the pool with the dogs, 
    palomino and straw washed 
    together in their wet fur. 
The sun glints off  
    burnished copper boulders, sunshine is
    pouring like liquid honey. 

We sat on the boulders, ocean pounded, smooth; 
White foam tipped waves spill 
    (filling the crevice where we stashed our wine) 
Your sapphire eyes deepened to dark cobalt -- 
    Oh my! Oh yes! 

The water was an aquamarine swirl 
    in a dingy drab apartment; 
    laying side by side. 
Beat the batter 
    pouring like liquid honey; 
    Oh my! Oh yes!

This poem was written with a prompt from Joseph Harker's Reverie,
 on linking short poems to make a poetic charm bracelet.

LA County Fair

Carefully climbing ladder rungs
then sliding on a blue metal chute,
I arrive in the petting zoo.
My fingers sink into deep wool,
springy, thick and soft.
Goats push my back and chew my shirt.
I trip on chickens pecking, scratching,
My mother clucks me out too soon.

We wander in the display buildings-
huge, hanger-sized, cement floored,
crowded, noise-assaulting salesmen in
temples of consumption.

Savoring my mustard smeared lunch,
crunchy and juicy fat,
heaven on a stick,
we walk past the monkey man
with his wind-up music box.
Furry miniature hands scurry
grabbing shiny pennies scattered
on the ground.

The afternoon sun beating on the blacktop
is muted and muffled
by cool gardens,
running streams singing down waterfalls,
smell of mulch, fertilizer and fern.

Funny, the Fun Zone
doesn’t have a
memory marker.

This poem was written from the Fun Fair prompt at dVerse.

My Self

When I was young I hid myself
and tumbled down many roads.
Hot, dusty and tired I came to rest
in the quiet, green shade of middle age.
Roots grew down into the soil
and tentative leaves appeared.
No longer hidden, my self
stretched her stems
to hold bright butterflies, bold beetles,
and bright blooms.

This poem was written in response to Margo’s prompt about self.

At the Gate, Atlanta International Airport

I am waiting to board my plane,
Ready to be home.  I work a sudoku puzzle
sitting in a chair with the noisy crush
of passengers.  In the next row over,
a man with ear lobes like ripe pears,
heavy, large, and meaty, talks
loudly to his laptop. His short, round and rumpled
body shifts in the hard seat
while he speaks in a voice heavily accented,
condescending and imperial.  His eyes flick
between the computer and the room,
watching us watch him.

A woman walks up, her hair twisted
and swept up in perfectly coiffed sleekness.
Her skin is taut, eyes dramatically lined, lips vivid.
She is perfectly pressed navy St. John paired
with Rumplestiltskin.
Her lips offer a wooden smile as she looks at the computer
and says “We loved seeing you.
Her heels click away from the gate and I hear the
disembodied airport voice intone:
“Please report unattended baggage.”



Five Flowers in Spring

The roses were invited,
planted behind the porch rail.
Ribbons of red to my right,
bright crimson blooms with burgundy tinged leaves
kissed by hummingbirds dipping, diving, drinking.

In front of me another hedge of roses,
dense bushy shrubs of fine leaves
and small bunches of pure clean pink blossoms
held on dainty stems —
miniature bouquets along the redwood rail.

A vine of cabernet curls and twines amongst the ribbon roses,
reaching through the rail;
it’s emerald leaves and peppercorn clusters of promised grapes
tickle the cushions of my chair.

Jasmine planted and forgotten–
found new life beneath the canopy of rose and vine.
It climbs the gate
twisting around the sturdy grapevine
and hangs heavy.
It’s blooms not yet open,
waiting to scent the summer.

Magenta spikes of Jupiter’s Beard
hold their flowers high like fireworks,
bold and brazen above the roses,
choking the lilac,
calling to the humming birds and butterflies:
Take my nectar!
They are the harlots of my garden;
uninvited, too loud and too bright.
Their burst of color shooting through the shrubs,
wrapping the roses in a jubilant embrace.