after Ed Ochester
Because Judy had given me for Christmas
a lumpen pot she’d pinched & baked
right in her kitchen, I tried my first
African Violet just after New Year’s.
The cat nosed its four furry leaves,
so I braced a two-by-six where fan belts
had hung when the place was a gas station. Continue reading
She holds in her skull
the quilted memory of a pain
fused with a metal plate.
Some nights she can feel the sky
hard as steel building to a muscled
roar. She is always fourteen.
In her the lightning waits Continue reading
The date, June 24, 1967, had been circled and starred on our house calendar for months – the last day of junior high school and my first train ride. Last Christmas, my best friend Denise, moved from Los Angeles to Tucson for her father’s job, and I missed her terribly. We met on the first day in seventh grade English when she asked me to join her club. She was the only member so far; I made two, and soon we were inseparable.
Mutt and Jeff, the boys teased us; it was easy to see why. Denise was 4’9” to my 5’8” but it was only when I saw our image together in a picture window that I could see how ridiculous we looked, me usually bent almost in half to hear what she was saying. In spite of my excruciating self-consciousness about my size, we found each other like two girls shipwrecked, sharing a scrap of board to survive the wild sea of the families we were born into by accident. Continue reading