Friday, August 18, 2017

The sun helps

We all sleep in the sun. It helps all of us.

The sun helps
Almost anything,
The exact right temperature
Between 60 and 65
With breeze
Which wafts,
Shakes the leaves
Of the ash
The linden
In the backyard.
Oh and the sun
Almost everything
No matter
The rest of it
All the time.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Soft landings

Do you want to apply?
There’s an opening
At Soft Landings
In Des Plaines
Or Joliet.
A temptation
I am unable to manage
Though if I had a company
I might name it
Soft Landings.
I dreamed the other night
I got a phone call.
They asked me
To be
A floater Bishop
For the Province.
“We’ll figure it out”
They said.
“You don’t need to tell
Your husband.”
They said.
He’ll find out
Soon enough.
“That’s not the way
Bishops' work”
I said
“Bishops’ don’t work
That way.”

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Senior year

Next transition

Mothers post pictures
Of their living rooms
Completely covered
With final must-haves
To make it through
This next year.
In our case
This final year.
We wonder
What comes next
Though we know
It will be a surprise
It has always been
A surprise
The very definition
Of surprise.
She will pop out
Of her version
Of a jack-in-the-box
And we will never have seen
It coming,

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Part of a priest's life.

The bride and groom
Often seated me
At the reception
With the religious
Elderly aunt from Florida
As if we would have
The most in common.
There was also the wedding
Where the bride
Wore a headpiece
Of neon condoms
At the rehearsal.
I have not officiated
At a wedding
In years now.
I have attended
A few.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Walk with words

Charlottesville? Really? Now we're back to writing it off as "southern expression." No. No. It is all of our expression if we let it go.

So many times I think
I could do better
Than that,
I could do better.
Then I hear
Of Tiki torches and flags,
Or rainbows
In the streets.
My feet,
They would not
Be able to march
In any parade
So I walk with words
Even though
They seem
Not enough,
I think they may have
To do
For now.
It was never
My plan.
It is still not
My plan.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

We breathe the same air

It is difficult to be in relationship when someone has determined you do not breathe the same air.

She has determined
What I need to do
And be.
My view
Of the Universe
Is rarely
The same,
Even though I know
We breathe
The same air.
We occupy ourselves
With different things.
The sand hill cranes
Visit her
In winter.
They fly overhead here
In fall and spring.
We notice different things
She and I.
The cranes
Are vital
To me.
They carry
That same air
Soon enough
They will fly
Or maybe
Not soon enough

Friday, August 11, 2017

Too slowly

My daughter is home and invites me to have a pedicure with her. It is time, well past time.

Someone else
Will pay attention
To my toes,
On feet
That slowly
Begin to return to me.
It is time
For a pedicure
On feet
That slowly
Oh so slowly
Too slowly

Thursday, August 10, 2017

From here to there

The difficulty of moving

So much of life
Is organized
Around where we live
Where to move?
We know where to shop
For groceries
We know
Where our doctors are
We know the hardware store
We know
Our Walgreens
We know so much of life
Our church
Our people
Every trail is laid
From here
To there.
Every trail
Every path
We need no GPS
From here
To there.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Things come in stages

What does it really mean to be righteous? It's never been a word I've applied to myself.

Within the course of two weeks
Last spring
Two professionals
Called me
For the decision
Not to drive.
It still took me
Another six months
To give up
My driver’s license.
The second car
Is still in the driveway.
Things come
In stages.
I may indeed
Be righteous
But I won’t be fully so
Until that second car
Is sold.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


Every year it seems we notice different things.

The cicadas
Seem louder
This summer
Or perhaps
More constant.
Fireflies are fewer.
The insect world
With the light
And temperature.
I don’t remember
If I was noticed less
Last year,
And this year

Sunday, August 6, 2017

East of Paducah

We will pay attention this year, No cornfield. Still, we will pay attention.

Where was I
At the last eclipse?
Age 24
Living across
From a cornfield
While Annie Dillard
Teaching a Stone
To Talk.
I don’t think
I noticed
Anything unusual.
An eclipse?
They happen,
Part of the natural order
Of things.
This year
We will have a motel room
East of Paducah.
We will pay attention
Some things,
Even natural things
Require attention
Even if
We don’t live across
From a cornfield.
Even if
I don’t write
Like Annie Dillard.

Saturday, August 5, 2017


As we get the house ready for sale, hopefully next spring, we look for the things which need doing. We thought the mulberries were invasive. Apparently not. But the buck thorn is.

The mulberries
Are fine trees
To have.
When our daughter
Was small
She and her friends
Used to eat them.
Now it is only the birds
That eat them,
Spread the seeds
Grow everywhere
Around the edges.
The tree trimmer says
They are ok,
Not on any list
Of banned trees.
Now buckthorn
That’s another story
We open our eyes
For buckthorn.
Buck thorn
Is everywhere.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Tree trimmer

We have made a list and are checking it twice. Ok, maybe checking it three or four times. Tomorrow is the new roof. Next week, the tree trimming.

The tree trimmer came
Admired our mountain ash
Reassured us
About the crab apple
Told us he would do
As much as he could
In a day
For a certain fee.
We wait for him
Next week
After the new roof
Is accomplished,
The new screens
And shutters scheduled.
How can this be?
How can so much happen
In so little time?
We so rarely
Get so much done
In so little time.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Taking a break

When we encourage people to do what they will, and they do...we should not be surprised.

Taking a break
From church.
He says
Then I realize
I am church
In some form
Or other.
I realize
I may never see him
This is not quite
What I meant
Though maybe
In the long run
It was.
I pray from a distance.
He finds church
The birds sing
On the Prairie Path.
Church is found

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Turned in my driver's license

Thanks, Joyce!

Finally did it:
Turned in my driver’s license
With the help
Of a friend.
Finally did it.
I could not bear
To mail it in
With no replacement
State ID
In hand.
I have not driven
For almost two years.
I already knew
I would not drive
I guess these things
Take time.
I walk the house
Practice with the cane
For the time I fully leave
The walker behind.