One Dozen or So From the Archives: Episode 12

Another installment of poems still waiting in the archives to be heard. Finishing up loose ends.

If you want more details, here’s the Big Long Explanation. Otherwise, just read as many or few of these poems as you’d like. And thank you, as always!

These poems are all from Repairs, published 2017.

There Is No Map For This Road

The roar of the lawn mower as you pull the starter
the smell of chlorine in your soaked bathing suit
the rattle of knives against pots in the dishwasher
the tines of the comb scraping your scalp.
The cord of the blinds you let down
running through your fingers too fast
The words still fresh on the opening page
of the book you pick up to read again
The first turn in the road
when things start to look familiar
coming home


Desk and Sun

stripes my papers
across the desk
These words here
these ones

across the desk
I lay my hand on the wood
taking its warm for myself

across the desk
I leave
gone just a few minutes
I return
The desk
in shadow.


The Business is Concluded

The house
burned to the ground and gone
scrape the lot clean and build a new house
Somebody else can do that.
While I won’t say I won’t look back
I won’t go back.


Society Do

The big party
it was full of people in fancy clothes
running out of patience
growing disillusioned
with the caterers
cross-referencing the information
among themselves
in a negative way
you can get better eats
at the supermarket, can’t you?
though at least one guest
was deciding to wrap up some of this shrimp
for breakfast


It’s Getting Ideas

I don’t have your imagination
Explain to me why I found
a can of baby peas
creeping through the rocks
in the flowerbed
outside the garage. My goodness!
Throw the poor thing
into the river
and let it swim away.



She goes into the kitchen
straight from work
wearing too tight high-heeled shoes
scuffed up at the toes
stumbles and staggers
a split second to reach equilibrium
never stood a chance
the floor too slick
Dinner will be late.


Knowing Best

I am her mother and I will decide
if in the life of a girl
it’s even possible
that a sense of originality
can be of use
or is desirable



the slap of the wake
against the dock pilings
The motorboat far out in the lake
long gone


Bad Cost/Benefit Ratio

Inside that low-grade angry
wrongly convinced of an interested audience
taking aim at the world
there is an idea or two.
Once in a while
one hits the target
but I don’t like what I have to go through
waiting for it.


On the Nature of Gift-Giving

What is it about this gift here
perfectly appropriate
and from a very nice person
What is it about this gift
that it sings
on key
and with such insistence?

And why instead do I remember
the present you gave me
the one so wildly out of tune
why is it the one I laughed to receive
and that I hold so tight in memory?


Aria High Stakes

The choir is singing at top speed
pursued by the piano keys
tripping over themselves to catch up
You don’t know anything about music
but you love the thrill you’re getting
being a part of an audience
running for cover


The Bride and Her Mother

The bride said:
Mother, I have always dreamed
of my wedding day
and I so hoped to start off married life
with the good omen of
a perfect wedding day
including our relations and friends
in a nice ceremony and
elegant reception. It will cost some money,
but what a lovely memory
for all of us, including you,
of course.

The bride said:
Mother, you must understand
My wedding is everything. Every detail
must be exactly right. The expense is of such small account
when perfection is the object. I am sure
you agree. It’s that you haven’t thought about it
enough. When you do, you will surely
open your checkbook
a bit wider.

The bride said:
I must have more to spend
if I am to have the wedding I deserve.
Do you want our relatives and your friends
to think we are not up to it? That we
are too cheap to do things
right? That we don’t know how?

The bride said:
Give me more. I mean it.


7 thoughts on “One Dozen or So From the Archives: Episode 12

  1. Another terrific collection of poems. I was especially struck by how skillful you are at choosing words and phrases that evoke the senses. The final poem was interesting to me. I had a “penny wedding” whereas a friend of mine had a lavish wedding that involved taking on debt. She had been keeping a wedding scrapbook since she was in her teens and wanted to make those dreams a reality whereas I had never once given my ideal wedding a thought. Your poem helped me understand the connection between those two things, the dream and the expense.

    • Thank you. That’s interesting what you thought about the bride poem. At the time it was written several of my son’s friends (as well as my son) had gotten married in the previous years and I saw an array of approaches. Here I chose to focus on the evolution of the bridezilla persona, but…there are groomzillas too, and just as many people who only want a pleasant and happy experience (those are for other poems…)

  2. My favorite just might be ‘superwoman’ but the last one is stunning – because I have seen this in action – Bride to bridezilla metamorphosis.

    • I wrote the bride poem thinking about various weddings I had attended in the years around that time. Things so easily get out of hand at weddings. And there are plenty of groomzillas, (that is for another poem…)

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