ran through


like a





I know what it is

to put my hands in the dirt,

to have it in the folds

of my skin and in the

creases that run the

length of my body, to

mingle flesh with earth

and to be one with it


Nancy’s husband died Sunday

and a sad shadow fell across

my memories of the pure happiness

with which Nancy loved her Donnie.

For Nancy, there had never been

a time before Donnie. They had been

married forever, or so it seemed.

Nothing came between them, and

nothing was more important

than each to the other. Nancy would tell

me so, big smile across her tiny face.

And now there was just Nancy and I

felt like maybe the world was

a little bit worse off without their

wholehearted love in it anymore.

It was certainly not going to be my

contribution to society.


she eats her lunch alone,

in a noisy crowded cafeteria

the sentencing of Nassar

playing in the background.

“this is not my story,” the judge says

“this is the survivors’ story”

which she hears above the din

head buried, tears slip into her soup

because no matter how much

time passes, some wounds

never heal – no matter how hard

she fights to overcome them,

some injuries linger on in

her mind and her heart

and it takes all her energy to

lift herself, to eat her lunch and smile at

the co-worker, the janitor, the cashier,

to carry the ancient unresolved

pain of her own silent survival

do the math

two girls, one about to go to college
a chronically ill dog
countless bills and things that break –
one indivisible momma
three hours short on a good night’s rest
thirteen chocolate-covered almonds
five heavy cups of coffee
just making the 124-mile round trip
daily, home to office to home
and again


i don’t want to be

just another #metoo
so i mostly keep quiet

and pretend not to notice

other people discovering
what I’ve long sensed –

people are more

than they seem –
and now, no matter

how many stories

are told, I can’t find
my tongue

swallowed years ago

by my own family,
shamed and humiliated

by my existence


i am restless,
out of place, so
i dream about moving to a town
so far away and small that
i am unknown — where the
only talk at the local diner is
the weather and coffee refills
but i stay here instead, practiced
pleasantries obscuring quiet
hope in a swirl of spoiled
creamer and
thin smiles.

in the car


when i get in the car, 

i have this vision 

of my death 
maybe it’s the news 

on the radio – but

the sun is shining

and then there’s that
hurtling rush of 

darkness and sound,

then frozen silence – 

and the sun is shining.