heard felt thud

James Baldwin is speaking too fast for me to commit
all of his beautiful words, in the order that he says them, to memory
and I can’t press rewind because I’m in a movie theater,
on a monday.
and the ladies sitting behind me gasp often and say how true at least 5 times.

responsibility, witness, responsible, us, black, white, America, grow, if, you are, we are, I am, witness.

holding tight onto the steering wheel I am
shouting for a possum whose body I heard felt
thud as it jammed into my
front right wheel and car
underside I don’t even know which part of what and then it was over
and now there is the urge to start over maybe
retrace the dark shadows and find the limping legs or at least some
blood but it is past my bed time, I haven’t eaten dinner, and I am still driving forward shouting for two of us.

uneven pieces

muscle bound she says of me as she prods
her way into the space between my spine and shoulder blade, and I can only
imagine my muscles as roots potted up too
tight, for too long, in a pot
too small,
and I wonder how they might unfurl into the bare
earth again.

l is using the cookie cutter molds to shape blue playdoh at playtime
and as she offers me a vanilla chocolate cake with sprinkles, the
heart shaped cake
breaks in two uneven pieces.
a broken heart i say, and take both of its parts.
what? she says, are you going to eat it?

I like to imagine ears as flowers with roots to the heart he says. I feel a warmth rise in my chest. silence. and then we begin to sing another song.


all that is left of the wind

my third time up the mountain today i see a whole tree
cradled in the arms of telephone wires.
the sun is sending out pink slivers from where its settling behind the mountains and
all that is left of the wind are the scattered pine branches spread across the snowy road and the innards of an overturned garbage can.

I pick up one of those tiny do not eat preservative packets, a battery, bottle cap, and an empty bottle of dishwasher liquid on my way home.

here’s to

here’s to frankie, wonder woman, grower of tomatoes, wildcrafter of words, one of my main squeezes, who’s inspiration allows me to notice the details and share them here.

and the timeless knowing that when the moment is here, (there) (everywhere) we will adventure to las montañas together, again. (because something tells me we’ve already been.)

second wind

at recess, j, who is 4, leans against the red building in his brown snow pants and puffy dark blue jacket and asks me how old I turned on my actual birthday, yesterday.
when I tell him, he says, you don’t look 26.
so how old do I look?
he squints his eyes, tilts his head, and uses one gloved hand to take measurements from afar, counting
one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.

I get my second wind
writing postcards to rep john faso, and the senate committee on homeland security and government affairs,
decorating the thick yellow-orange paper with designs in magenta sharpie, wondering how my piece of mail will be received, among the (hopefully)
thousands, demanding that
someone elected to political office stand up to
white supremacy (among other things), and then one of us (postcard writers) starts in about invasive plant species, maybe it was me, mentioning that hardy kiwifruit currently on trial in Massachusetts. I lean against the back of a chair with my coat on for an extra hour. suddenly there’s a lot I want to say. because why we have gone and put the hardy kiwi on trial seems like just another string of the problem of homeland security.

I ask l, who is wearing her bright pink coat and a blue hat that is falling down over her eyes (soon to be cause for a tantrum), why she is using a metal toy shovel to bang away at the wooden playground fence. she tells me she is chopping it down. we don’t need this fence, why do we need this fence?

maybe some fences are okay, maybe some fences keep us from running out into the street.

not sleeping anymore

walking down from Table Rocks,
(which are enormous table-y boulders with a spectacular view on the Mohonk ridge) I ask out loud
so how did that happen?
the rocks. arranged like that.
something to do with water? j says and I nod because water must have had something to do with it.
but the rocks! I wish I had more pieces to the geologic puzzle.
the divine majesty of god? j says and I smile.
oh yeah, I say. and I repeat it, ticking off
water, and
the divine majesty of god
on my index and middle finger,
two of the pieces of the puzzle.

at about 3 o clock last Thursday, e, who is four (and a half),
spontaneously starts the whole pre-k class chanting
the people, united, will never be defeated!
as they are putting away their blocks,
dismantling the giant sculpture
made for the toy whales sleeping, (not sleeping anymore). I join in.
all of it makes me smile in a way that I haven’t all day, and my eyes are really big and heavy all of a sudden and I almost cry just a little bit,
because these are the people I have to count on,
to put away all of the blocks, at the
end of the day.