Prompt from @WkendWordsmith
delicious, menus, employee
You order the clams
because they are local.
Also because they are delicious,
She and I enjoy the crab,
from far, far away,
The menu says “market price”
and we don’t ask the employees
how much, because we know
we will order it anyway.
The tradition fulfilled for
Mt. Longonot, 1987
into the crater.
We, laughing, sliding,
beyond our ken,
beyond our influence.
We had climbed all morning,
now were running ahead,
our friends taking the more leisurely
watching the clouds from above.
Not for us, this introspection.
We dashed on
leaving the rockslides
to do what they would.
(For the weekend wordsmith.)
Bastille Day, 2007
January 4, 2011
We wandered, not
lost, but discovering
new old alleys,
behind walls and gates,
statues of friends long dead,
memories that sparkle as brightly
as the sun off the Seine,
boom louder than the fighter jets
screaming overhead, seen through
sycamore leaves on Champs Élysées.
For the Weekend Wordsmith – Lost
Every day I pass
these faces are not people
stacked one on the other
Today I stopped
at this brick
so distinct from the others
I never noticed how the light catches it
She smiles at me
I see the pain there
the unrealistic wish to some day visit Venice
Suddenly all those bricks
For the Weekend Wordsmith – Brick
Very belated, for the Weekend Wordsmith
April 8, 2010
I imagined that one day,
when I was one of the big kids,
I would get to sing the descant
in the Christmas service.
The titchies would sing the easy bits,
then the elevated Older Children
would burst out with the canticle of the angels,
towering above our mortal efforts.
And then, we were far away from home,
where nobody sang descants,
there weren’t any student Christmas services,
and Africa was an epithet
used to deride our lack of culture,
our ignorance of the things that
And all these years later,
at the last lingering notes
of every Christmas melody or Easter hymn,
my heart lifts on the wings of an ibis,
cries out the eucalyptus-scented descant
and longs to return home.
February 12, 2010
I would never choose
a pastime that involves ice.
Hard, unforgiving stuff,
and, what’s more, cold.
She dances out there,
a swan among ravens,
flowing gracefully over ice
not quite as smooth as the glass
She imagines being Sasha Cohen,
even as girls in my generation
imagined being Michelle Kwan
beaming from the Kiss-and-Cry
as the judges unveil
their perfect sixes.
For the Weekend Wordsmith – Skates
February 12, 2010
Did you know
that a whale’s aorta is so big that a baby
can crawl through it?
And did you know that a diplodocus
weighed 17 tons, but had a brain
the size of a small lemon?
And did you know that Star Wars
was filmed in Tunisia,
and the Jawas spoke Swahili and Zulu?
And did you know, Daddy, Daddy,
did you know? Did you know
that I love you, and that the tallest building
in the whole world is in Dubai?
Did you know?
For the Weekend Wordsmith – Whale.
February 12, 2010
From my balcony, I see the planes
roaring out of BWI on their way
to somewhere I’d rather be.
From my bed I hear them
all through the dark hours as
I try, unsuccessfully, to kill
another night away from you.
(For the Weekend Wordsmith, “balcony”)
For the Weekend Wordsmith, Champagne
Champagne For One
April 24, 2009
Do you remember
standing alone while all around
each welcomed each
to a new year with a kiss.
The champagne bubbling cheerfully
as you left it on the table
and quietly left.
March 14, 2009
A sudden burst of sunlight across the ice.
A dozen skaters radiate
out from their instructor, bright yellow
paper clutched in their frozen fingers.