Sunday, June 15, 2014

40 summers

eight summers at the Jersey Shore
one summer in the Rocky Mountains and western National Parks
fifteen summers on the rocky, New England coast
five summers in the northeast woods
one summer in Nova Scotia with a man I loved

ten summers in ski towns.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Literary Connections

Second grade Plattsburgh, New York
Mrs. Farrah teaches us to read without moving our lips at Oak St School
I am one of the kids who can do it.

Fifth grade, Mr. Oliver reads Harriet the Spy to the class.
After school I read Little House on the Prairie.

In the middle of Eighth Grade my family moves to Rye New Hampshire.
Ms. Balz teaches me grammar; I learn the difference between your and you’re.

In Tenth grade I read Dreiser in English class and fall in love with literature.
I read Welty and Cather and imagine being western.

I read How Green is My Valley
Because I like the name.
I learn, you can go back and have what you like if you remember it well enough

In Twelfth grade Diane and I change the lyrics to a Simon and Garfunkel song
As we ride a Greyhound bus to New York City.
I meet my soul mate and we read Gone With the Wind on stormy winter evenings,
We meet in the library, and talk about our books,
He shows me his world of nature and hiking,
Of Love
We go to Boston, the computer museum, the White Mountains, Prom and

After high school I watch The Outsiders,
Soda Pop quotes Robert Frost Nothing Gold can stay
during a sunset
I read more Frost, he says that my life is a pursuit of a pursuit forever
And begin to understand interminable longing.

I travel to Denver, Philadelphia, Boise, Portland, Fairbanks, and Missoula
Glasgow, Edinburgh, Paris, London, Geneva

Listening to Jackson Browne sing about maps and angels
you've had to hide sometimes, but now you're all right
and start to believe it

Allison and I listen to Lawrence Ferlinghetti at Philips Exeter Academy
It is the first time I hear a poem spoken by its writer
we sneak into his private receptions
This is the first time I see a real poet, up close.

I read Walker, Lessing
I’m searching for my mother’s gardens, too
I try to write my Golden Notebooks.

I remember a line from a book that spoke to me once
you can go back and have what you like if you remember it well enough

I remember
and what I remember becomes a story
and a poem, and a book.

Friday, June 13, 2014

And one day you remember

Can one person really make you forget
all past disappointments,
past hurts?

and then one day, while walking
in a copper landscape
you realize
you have forgotten everything

Because the day is sweet, perfect,
filled with love.

and you become thankful for delayed snow storms
and yet-to-be-filled promises
as the yellow aspen leaves crunch, crunch
under four boots and twelve paws.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

What else can we do but love it

Granby, Colorado

Sprawled under the desk
I feel her breath on my toes
Blond tail curls under her rear legs.
wanders to the other side of the room
to watch me by the door,  

head perks to attention to the rumbling and roaring
of the sky opening up
glad for the rains
that soak the tinder beetle-killed lodgepole

delays fires that
will eventually come.

fires that will destroy the forest and trails where
we walk
every day

Lodgepole pine fill the view from this desk
accepting the red, brown landscape

What else can I do but love it

the storms pass and the tail
bang, bangs against the wall
eager eyes look at me from my knees
as we head out
raindrops on a metal roof
clang, clang

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

When I Go Home Again

Previously published in Clapboard House Review 2010

When I go home again
I go to the places that have stayed the same
the rocky coast of New Hampshire,
where there is sometimes sand
and homes filled with children and rules

the wooden kitchen table
in summer
feels, damp with east coast humidity

the kitchen desk filled with photos and cards
a Frost poem-card about swinging from branches
one could do worse than be a swinger of branches

My old room with the single bed removed,
now home to a model railroad

I take in the smells
hear Mom and Dad repeat their skit
I didn’t call you for dinner yet
What a bummer dinner isn’t ready yet

I write this in the Colorado aridity
remembering humidity and humor
my first home

and no matter what age appears on forms
or spoken when asked
I still need her okay, her approval.

every day,
her love matters.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Story of Us

Come to me
we will play king of the island
and eat meatball subs
unless you are vegetarian now

remember Lafayette, Whiteface
where you showed me your world

And I will tell you the story of us
sitting on the beach
watching the storm come in
and how we ran,
at the very last minute
to the car
and got soaked

Will you come
stay with me?