And the day came when the risk it took to remain tightly closed in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom. Anais Nin



Sent To Washington, DC

the sign said Islands
couldn’t believe my luck
the back seat roomy
lunch in a bag
no suitcases
on our way to islands

I oozed patience
finally asked
when, how many
Dad said, islands, what?
saw the sign, laughed
those islands divide
the road, honey

today I watch for signs
use extra care
in getting my hopes up

Sent To Edmonds, WA


one Scottish
another Finnish
the 3rd, a Dakotan
all want a room
they’re single
on their way here
want to rent, sight unseen
you won’t be sorry, they promise
will send photos if we want
all the same story
all the same scam
I say, “who are these people?”
my boyfriend says, “who cares, get the photos!”

Sent To Lawrenceville, IL

On The Down Slope

Fortune Cookie: You are going to have a very comfortable retirement.

yeah, who says?

will I have to eat cat food
live with my kids
get false teeth and give up steak
will I need to be escorted
to the market
the hairdresser
wheeled in to see the doc
will I be asked to the senior dance
by a man who wears suspenders to keep his pants up
will people talk about me like I’m not in the room
ask me to turn down the volume on the TV
will I be obsessed with senior discounts
practical shoes and non-slip rugs

these questions fill my head
the style guru forgot to tell my body
that 50 is the new 40

this is my cartoon for the next stage in life
the angst of aging
this is the sour breath of these words
spoken out loud

Sent To Chestnut Hill, MA


cut stems
dew on wrists
bare light on
crisp morning mist
forget the refrain
and all you’ve
left undone

Sent To Birmingham, AL

along the block wall
behind the bird bath
the black cat taunts
the little French dog
with tail swishes

his failed attempts
make muddy paws
and give meaning
to the phrase
Daytime Drama

Sent To Bloomington, IN

you are not forgotten
there is a mark –
a black streak
on the wall
behind the dresser
shaped like lightening
where your boot heel
hit the wall

happened long before
you fell ill
and mama’s prayers
were finally answered

Sent To Hollywood, FL

-- Ask Mama --
Let’s dance until our feet die
sing when Ethel belts a tune
drink cosmopolitans and
leave our makeup on all night
tomorrow we’ll believe
there’s plenty of time
for “normal”
let others worry tonight
pretending takes a toll and
nobody gets younger.

Sent To East Stroudsburg, PA

we don’t prepare
can’t bring ourselves
to admit the inevitable
dreams and wishes are
paper coupons
not redeemable on this
there’s no formula
we cope
tell stories
the worst is telling the children
forever the one who invaded
their island of innocence

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