Family Trees

Wearing sturdy shoes
and a faded burgundy jacket,
I walk in the autumn air
with my family trees.

My husband, the oak,
stands sturdy
ignoring phantom wisps of fog
weaving through the walls
of hard wood and dark leaves.
His roots reach into rocky soil
bending boulders to anchor deep.
His bark bears scars
from lightening strikes,
nagging woodpeckers,
and squirrels living in the hollows
of his trunk.

Kyle, the cottonwood,
grew fast, tall and narrow.
Limbs touch the sky,
leaves twinkle in the sun.
The roots grow deep and wide,
new shoots sprout
where his focus falls.

My daughter, the pine,
is evergreen, fragrant.
Long green needles cascade
down her back.
Pine cones feed squirrels
leaping in her branches.
Soft wood burns
warm and bright.

I am the sycamore,
growing by the brook,
cooling my roots in the damp earth.
My trunk peels,
exposing patches of grey.
Birds gather dry twigs and nest,
hidden in the spreading canopy
of dusty leaves.

Prompts: Sunday Wordle and Margo’s Wordgathering “metaphors”

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I Want

When you are 52,
you tell yourself
that you are not like
your grandmother,
and her mother too,
who died young
of stomach cancer.
No, you are like Grammie
who lived to be 92
with the same
pear shaped body
and varicose veins
that you wear while you
are cooking your organic
garden greens
and walking the dog.
Then your neighbors,
two at the same time,
have cancer.
They start counting their lives
in months,
not years.
You watch the leaves float
and fall from the sycamore.

Prompts: Believe it or not, this started out with Margo’s prompt to make a list of “I want…” things.  Long life and health were on the list and they took over the poem.  It’s been a hard week for me, coming to terms with the illness of these neighbors — one quite young, the other certainly not old.

Self

Born
and raised
in Southern
California;
Horses raced, girls laughed;
clinging bareback, flying.
Wave soaked salty copper skin.
Leaving the city, climbing up
the mountain where she rested, and wrote —
silken strands of water falling from streams.

Prompt: Margo’s Wordgathering for writing a poem about self – a creation myth of sorts.

And a big thank you to Poets United for featuring me on their Life of a Poet series of interviews.  Everything you ever wanted to know about me…and probably more.  😀

Stretch

They called me Stretch
because I was all long limbs
like I’d been stretched
on a rack.
Long toes gripping
the starting blocks,
like lizard claws
like a gecko;
clinging, then springing forward
hurtling through the water
kicking, pulling, flipping, pushing
fighting for the finish;
voices on the deck
screaming
as I reached for the wall.

Prompts: Poetic Bloomings memoir series and Margo’s Tuesday Tryouts.

Coffee Beans

Just look at those beans,
shiny and hard;  you can
use them as ball bearings
for your skateboard; or
place the smooth bright beads
in a sachet bag for the car; their
roasty toasty smoky sweet smell
will cover up the smell of dog
or goat
or McDonald’s fries.

Prompt: Margo’s Wordgathering asked us to look at a common object and use it in imaginative ways.  I had trouble thinking outside the box, and letting my imagination go, but once I came up with ball bearings I was home free.

Breakfast in Grass Valley

Before the heat rose,
we closed windows
-while we gathered for breakfast-
in the log house kitchen.

We closed windows,
trapping the cool night air
in the log house kitchen;
drinking our coffee.

Trapping the cool night air;
singing crickets and croaking frogs,
drinking our coffee,
choosing our eggs.

Singing crickets and croaking frogs,
evening song and morning silence.
Choosing our eggs:
all different shades of brown.

Evening song and morning silence;
the kids slept outside;
all different shades of brown
heads tucked inside their sleeping bags.

The kids slept outside
while we gathered for breakfast;
heads tucked inside sleeping bags
before the heat rose.

Prompts: A big thank you to both Margo and dVerse for very fun prompts!  Margo prompted us to write about our vacation without naming the topic.  dVerse provided a very fun form: the Pantoum.