Monday, March 24, 2008


My name is not Yolanda,
and Jessie doesn't live here.
What part of wrong number
don't you get?
Stop calling
to schedule appointments
for Jessie.
I do not know her.
Who is Yolanda--Jessie's mother?

Who is Jessie?
Is she caught in unexpected conditions,
a troubled teen?
Is she treatable?
Maybe she is dodging psychosis,
hiding from intrusive forces
to require Tresco's social services.
Pitiful young woman,
I feel frightened for her.

Magnetic Poetry Kits

I was word challenged,
mind bare.
Help, a kit away,
I thought.

A fridge door with magnets,
words lined up in alpha rows
to find a word,
to help spark ideas,
but expressions stuck there--

Just grab any ol' word
and slide them around
see what I get--

I needed words--
they were missing.
No matter how I slid them
nothing worked.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Little Servants

Four thin bodies, trapped,
stuck to a magnet
in a white, house-shaped container,
heads peaking through a slot
ready to be grabbed
as needed.

We holler for attention--
we can't wait
to attach ourselves
if only you will let us.

We love it when you bend our
stiff, wired existence
to slip us over the edge
of your pages of poetry.

What boring lives
dangling here
or lying on the floor,
helpless paperclips.
How much longer can we rest?
We're caught up on our sleep already.

We want action--
give us purpose, meaning--
let us serve you,
oh master.


I will never forget Rebecca from grade school,
the one with a bony right arm, shoulder bones
protruding out of her tank top's arm hole,
she seemed not to be overly conscious of it.
I looked at it often. Why her left side
normal and right side skin and bones?

I wanted to ask her about it, but I remained
silent. Later, I heard she had polio.
I wondered if she was in pain. She never showed it.
She was courageous, strong. Her words gentle and wise.

We often met on the school yard during recess,
bouncing a big, red rubber ball
on the blacktop—throwing it, catching it.

She glowed like sunshine, fair skin,
blond, shoulder-length hair and glistening
eyes like faceted aquamarine jewels. Her smile
of innocence, her presence an inspiration.

A big sister to me—my playground buddy,
making the best of a friendship.
She became my beacon of truth and light.
Maybe she was thankful to have me
as a friend who treated her like a normal person.