By way of a cracked sidewalk in Winston-Salem

The old lady in the grand house
used to dole out little candies
which seemed most special
because they were small, infrequent,
and welcome to a lonely little girl.
I remember sitting quietly and chatting,
feeling lifted by her elegance and wondering
why she was so alone
amid her gleaming floors and fancy piano.
It was shadowy inside even on a sunny day.
Somehow I imagined this woman
an eccentric mystery I would one day solve.

There have been times I have felt
so damn empty as a grownup,
I take big handfuls of those candies
and aside from a few moments
of delight, am still empty afterwards
-and a little bit alone. It occurs to me
I am diluting a pure memory
by the sheer volume of comfort I seek.
And it occurs to me that not only is she
still a mystery, but I am on my way
to becoming an eccentric old lady too,
full of stories and candy to share.

Marching on

The days blur together
as mice march on
through fields of wheat
in a drought, no complaints
as long as they have direction.
The wind is a tease, carrying rain
further away like a shimmering
mirage; none of us stand a chance
when thirsty. The moon takes pity
on those burned in the light
and soothes worries away in the dark.
Marching will continue tomorrow.

Listening to nightfall

Once the sun has gone,
trees break free
of their static shapes
and make all sorts
of dynamic twists
in the moonlight.
Frogs sing hymns
to their circles of
flowers as they can,
knowing their roots
swim with lost tails.
Sleepy flowers sway
in breezes, taking the night
from petal to petal
without reaching,
a dance of quiet delight,
all lovers and dreamers
embracing in shadow.

It’s a kind of magic

I don’t recall a single supermoon
as a kid; they were all magical,
even without labels
or a rudimentary understanding
of cycles or space.

I remember being given a notebook
and told to write my thoughts
and that they could maybe rhyme, or not.
I was 7 and the world opened up.

I remember my dad with a ladder
late at night telling us to scramble
on the roof to watch a comet.
It was beautiful and I didn’t understand.

Somehow stars and words
are tied up in my mind
as magical yet reachable;
I can touch if I want or just look
and it doesn’t have to make sense.

I went someplace

for a new view and some fresh air

and found tips for survival

among ferns, dappled sun,

and quiet flight of dragonflies