To My Friend Leslee

family on boat - editedSometimes I yearn for one more day at the lake,
the wind whipping my hair,
throttle wide open,
half standing, my leg braced on the seat,
190 horsepower leaping forward, planing out.

Do you remember Andrew throwing
our puppy into the lake (he was teaching her to swim)?
Or Andrew playing with baby snakes in the shallows—
they were probably rattlers?
Or Dee and Joe doing “the Locomotion”
barefoot on the deck?
Or later, when Dee hadn’t gone for years,
and he defiantly sat on the beach and read?

Or what about the icy tingle in our armpits
when we jumped into Lucky Peak in June?
Or scrubbing duck doo doo off docks at Lake Lowell?
Or a passel of children—yours and mine—
who could play all day in the sand?
Or the upswell of joy as we skimmed across the waves
with reckless abandon?

Oh, for one more day filled with the
coconutty scent of sunscreen,
of chattering baby voices
and suntanned teenage bodies,
for the summer sun burning our backs until
it was a pleasure to jump into the frigid water,
for shared adventure, the elixir of friendship,
and water smooth as a glass slipper.

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Grace: Hope Beyond Hope

morning-glory.jpg

Masking ruthless aggression

with pink-blushed flowers,

morning glory thrives

in sun or shade,

in flower beds, farmlands,

fields, and ravines;

reproduces from roots,

rhizomes, stems, or seeds;

revives after decades of

lying lifeless underground;

and is eradicated only by constant

smothering and spraying.

 
Likewise, our most persistent sins,

clad in clever rationalizations,

must be overcome

by unremitting applications

of faith and prayer

and continuous suffusions

of atoning grace.

Temper Tantrum

castle rocks yellow bell

 

In a last ditch effort to

foil Spring’s debut,

Winter throws a royal fit:

frenzied snow squalls,

blasts of windy fury,

hails of icy orbs.

His coup de grace?

suffocating stratus shrouds.

 

Nonetheless,

Yellow Bell lifts her head.

Softening

IMG_2566 (2)

raw macaroni

 

bitter, unforgiving hearts

 

warm until tender

I Met a Yogi While Walking

calico cat - shutterstock

The calico cat

sat, motionless, guru-like

inscrutable sage

Summer Idyll

yellow-headed blackbird

 

O, enchanted hour beneath the willow tree

on grassy banks beside a wandering stream

where yellow-headed blackbird calls atop a reed–

 

who ordained this tranquil hour of

cooling breeze, largesse unwitnessed

but for iridescent dragonfly?

 

Total Commitment

 

Photo by Felice R. Bond

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like a tiny dive bomber,

the hummingbird 

plunges her whole self

into the heart of a trumpet vine flower,

drinking deeply the sweet.

 

Can I, like she,

immerse myself,

regardless of hazards

and the shortness of the season,

in the prospects of the day?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The State of Things at the Current Moment

flowered couch

Here I am sitting on
my frayed, flowered couch
in my 3-bedroom house
in a small rural town
in the forgotten state of Idaho,
while out there somewhere
is an unstable president
and brooding terrorists
and charitable strangers–
and people everywhere
who just want to quietly
live and breathe and die,
who hope the terrorists
will decide to be
ordinary citizens
and the president
will lose his cellphone.

Remembering Maud Lovisa Fuhriman

thumb200

What would great grandma

think if she could see me

sitting on my throne in

my climate-controlled house–

she who took the kids

out to the “shade” of the haystack

on hot summer afternoons?

 

I imagine her with her hair

pulled back in a tight bun,

sweat dripping down

the neck of her long-sleeved dress.

Mopping her head, she checks the bread

in the oven of the old wood stove.

Then she washes beets from the garden

and peels potatoes for dinner.

Heat and dust and flies are ever-present

on this homestead in the Idaho desert,

where she carries water in a bucket

to her seedling trees and pays her

son a penny for every hundred flies he kills.

 

Could she even imagine

eating fresh grapes and

watermelon and raspberries

grown by other people?

Would she be enthralled or appalled

by a life where you never

have to milk the cow

or churn the butter

or gather the eggs–

where there is no fire to start,

no wood to chop,

no chickens to feed?

Embroidery of Hope

peacockWhat was it I hoped for–
a sixteen year old
who was usually more interested
in volleyball than sewing–

when I French-knotted
salmon flowers and
stitched royal blue and lime
into a flowing peacock’s tail?

Was I thinking of a handsome husband
and happily ever after,
of a houseful of giggling girls
and Gerber baby boys?

I’m sure I didn’t imagine
sleepless nights with a critically ill baby
or what we would do
when my husband lost his job.

I also never envisioned
the thrill of twin grandchildren
jumping up and down by the window,
shouting, “Grandma’s here!”

I had a vague idea of my
hoped-for love and life,
but not an inkling of the
down-and-dirty daily press.

Now, the regal peacock reminds me
that my forever is still in the making,
and thanks to sacred covenants,
I should continue embroidering hope.