Saturday, December 15, 2012


There were no warning signs
No red flags until
The rush of crimson which did not drip or drizzle
But poured angrily down my legs.
I felt no pain
Or if I did it didn't matter
Because I thought I had killed her
And I tangled all the wires in my brain
Trying to figure out how I'd done it:

Had I eaten too many cookies?
Exercised too much? Too little?
Worked more than I should?
Angered God?
What had I done, or not done?

ER entrance lights, wheel chair
Blood and blood pressure cuff
IV stabs and barrage of questions
And blood and why won't it stop?
And then the contractions
Pokes and prods and another stab
The nurse casually, quickly, tells me
Something about banking blood
But I hate talking about the red stuff.

I don't learn until later that I was in danger, too.
The wires in my brain were still in knots
And I could only think of her.
I was just a vessel now
A vessel with a mechanical problem.
I begged for help
I couldn't bear to lose my cargo.

She never noticed.
She never distressed, or wanted for anything.
Two weeks later I still think I feel it
Even see it
The blood soaking through white towels
Disturbing a moment that should be clean and calm,
 That should be all pink bows and onesies -
But then she kicks me and reminds me to relax
And have another cookie.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Things I Miss

Time to catch ladybugs
Tooth fairy money
Covering my hands with Elmer's glue and then peeling it off slowly, like another set of skin
Sticking out my tongue to catch the falling snow
Playing with my mother's makeup
Singing to my dolls
Climbing trees
Thumb wars
Tether ball
Camping in the backyard
Making bread pudding - I don't even remember how to anymore
Catching toads
The Babysitters' Club
Wanting to become a marine biologist
My old bedroom
The time to daydream all day
Fruit Loop necklaces
Sneaking out of the house to play night games
Not needing to lock the door or worry about sex offenders and maniacs
Easter egg hunts
Family dinners
Writing real letters - on paper
Believing the best about the people I love

Sunday, September 2, 2012

To Norah

I haven't written much in a while because I'm pregnant and I've had a serious problem with morning sickness. I'm feeling a bit better these days and with my increased energy have come joy and excitement about the prospect of meeting my daughter in a few months.

Lately I find myself talking to Norah and wishing she could understand me and talk back. There's so much I want to say to her. I don't want to forget these conversations, so I've decided to record them at  - feel free to visit if you like.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Fly

For once I stopped to gaze at you,
A blur of silver buzzing through,
And knew
That indeed we are what we do.


Last night I awoke
To the tender pulse
Of so many arcane parts of me
Diligently working
To make room for you.
I never was a temple
Until now.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Upon Visiting the Old House

My tears were not a cry, but a song
The song of today devouring yesterday –
Equal parts lamentation
And celebration.

I cried because I could again
Sense the pulse of my first kiss
Taste icicles plucked from the patio roof
See the snowman stand sentinel
Beyond my gossamer curtains
Watch my dreams bounce playfully
Atop bright allium balls
Along the garden, stopping now and then
To chase hummingbirds among the lilies
Of the valley of my youth
Start a fried chicken food fight, fling
Mashed potatoes on the freckled face
Of my first friend
Prick our thumbs with rose thorns
Blood sisters
Smile hello all summer to so many
Red cheeks
Gapped teeth
And sun-peeled
Comrades in walnut wars
And hopscotch battles
I swore I’d never forget
(But did)

I cried because I missed my tomboy knees and caveman soles –
I missed my soul –
There is no childhood
Like a barefoot one.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

In the Middle

I don’t care for blank slates.
Why start anew when I’ve already begun?
New beginnings feel naked and cold
And disembodied somehow,
But life in the middle of the checklist,
Below the done but before the do –
It feels Goldilocks right –
Warmed by the blaze of possibility
But cooled by sober experience –
It’s spring:
Opportunity sprung up from decaying failure,
The dandelion that grows on the dung pile.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Assembly Required

Ask me later,
When I’ve had sufficient time
To unpack my words,
Spread them onto the table,
Marry tongue with groove,
And present you with a lie
Better assembled than the truth.   

Friday, April 6, 2012

Claw Machine Doll

I won’t hide today,
Behind characters contrived to say
The words that perch
Impertinently on my tongue
With brazen threat
But dearth of deed.

I will verbalize,
Embody what I divine
When my fingers
Trace the cracks in my youth:

That it isn’t too late
To keep the moon awake all night,
To stop living like a claw machine doll,
Painted emotions and plastic love
Awarded to a lucky winner.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spring Cleaning

Yes, I have put away childish things,
But haphazardly, hastily,
As if preparing for houseguests,
Stuffing old fears and tears in drawers,
Monsters shoved back under the bed,
And wayward wants inside my head,
So that my life now resembles
A poorly stuffed pillow,
Little clumps of softness
Finding holes in the hems
And sometimes breaking free.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The F-Word Myth

My fellow teachers often gripe about "kids these days" and their "potty mouths." At the high school where I work, one cannot stand in the bustling, buzzing hallway for more than a few seconds without hearing a curse word. Adults complain that children no longer have manners, that they don't care to speak professionally, eloquently, with sophistication - in a word, "correctly."

This is a lie.

My students enjoy learning and using new, "smart" words like (from this week's list) "cadaverous" and "loquacious" and "sycophant." They enjoy flexing their ever-growing lexicons around friends and family, and regale me with funny stories about how they outsmart others with their newfound vocabularies. In class they practice using new words by creating "Your Mother" jokes (not "Yo Mama" - it is English class, after all) and grandiloquent pick up lines which they later dare each other to use in the cafeteria or on the bus.

But I still struggle to get them to cut down on the swearing.

Today I came up with a new strategy - the truth. Time will tell if it has an impact. Two students asked me if I ever curse. I was tempted to lie and tell them that I only use appropriate language, but instead I said, "Of course." My students were shocked - their English teacher swears? Do you say the F-Word? Do you say SHIT - I mean, the S-word? No way! You're not supposed to - you teach English!

I told them about the myth: that to be classy and "eductated" we must all delete "bad" words from our vocabularies. I gave them this advice: "There will be times in your life when only the F-word will do. Hold on to it. Reserve it. Don't use it up and render it hackneyed (another vocab word). Keep it ready for the moment when you've got nothing else. Then use it without shame."

I suspect I'll get some angry parent phone calls in the next few days. I'll be careful not to deploy any F-bombs. Unless I've got nothing else, of course. :)

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Daffodils stretch their new limbs
Resolutely slice
Through sheets of mushy maple leaves.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Scars are newborn skin
Like babies they begin
Red, strange, and needy –

Years pass, scars blend in
Assimilate with older lines
They stop drinking from our breasts
But we never forget their birthdays.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

PS - Whitney Houston

She was one of my idols. As a kid I spent countless hours locked in my room, passionately belting her hits to a rapt stuffed animal audience. I'm not usually affected by the deaths of celebrities, but tonight I feel as though I've lost a childhood friend. This week people will gossip about Whitney's drug use, her failed marriage to Bobby Brown (whom I also adore without shame), and speculate about the scandalous lifestyle that surely caused her death. But I will think about how Whitney taught me to sing, to dance, to deal, and to dream.

Checking for Vital Signs/A Tally

Notes to Self
As I get older, I lose some and I gain some:


The music I grew up with is now featured on oldies stations, and the voices I love keep dying - Michael,

Whitney - who will be next? Shoot me if Prince dies.

Where did all my friends go? When I was 21 my address book was filled with dozens of names I could rely on for a good time. Now a good time consists of a Breaking Bad marathon with Husband and a bag of Oreos in bed. Don't get me wrong - I adore Husband (and Oreos for that matter), but sometimes I wish I had someone to call and talk to about girlie things.

Time - I miss having the time to stay up until 5 AM and sleep in until 4 PM. I haven't done this in years, and I probably wouldn't do it even if I had the time, but I'd still like to know that I could if I wanted to again.


I spent an hour plucking out my white hairs a few days ago. Some of these gains suck.

I've gained a deeper respect and adoration for my parents.

As I grow older, my lexicon expands and I find I finally have the right words to describe my fears.

Likewise, time has given me the balls to articulate those fears.

Sometimes I feel beautiful. I never felt that way in my teens or early twenties. I like this feeling. It's a feeling that does not depend on anyone's gaze or approval.

Vital Signs

I look forward to having children. I see them in my dreams and I can't wait to meet them.

Tenaciously I hold on to those who love me. There aren't many people who truly love me, even at my ugliest. I want to keep them.

Friday, January 20, 2012


All I know of heaven
Comes from holding hands with a devil.