Falwell’s Backyard

In the spring the magnolias are intoxicating. Their fragrance prompts deep breaths that release tension and you are— disarmed. The iced tea is sweet like the smiles because the rude and bitter meet with disapproval. Come closer. Step into the magnolia’s shade and...

22 Million Dollars and Nothing to Do

Pay off the house— the carsBuy a new carRemodel the houseMove  Fix Jason’s teethA wealthy lawyer with crooked teethturns people off  Save for the twins’ education— or notA degree doesn’t guarantee a job— not nowMy college years were wastedespecially after...

Freeing Vesuvius

Movement was key, and the key was around my neck; that’s what extra shoestrings were for— skate keys. After eight hours at a desk, where the only activity was my pencil gliding haphazardly across the page to form letters and numbers I didn’t care about, I needed to...

Veteran’s Lament

Angular man with guitarNo longer gazes at the stars.  Fingers pluck with eyelids closedMuscles tense—               No chance for repose.  White hair like a mountaintopChanneling chords of...

The Beneficial Curse

My husband, Jack Wade, was raised by a brood of women made up of his mother and his father’s sisters: Agnes, Melva, Genevieve and Sandy— an outcome of his father’s death when Jack was three. Wade males died young; it was the family history. His mother constantly...

Ode to Mr. Koss

He stands in the back of the roomA veteran of warA monument of knowledgeMy teacher.  We must not look upon his faceNothing is written thereWe face front alwaysEven when answering questions.  His voice is unexpected baitFor our seventh grade mindsWe do not...