The Children Can’t Play This Spring


Sleepless nights ‘cuz the boogeyman’s gonna get you.
Rapid breathing, nausea, chills down the spine.
Children taken while walking home from bus stops.

Strangers offering candy to preschoolers
out playing in the yard alone.
Where have all the adults gone?

I am here. Is it enough to keep her safe from predator-hands –
picking them like flowers from garden beds as they bathe in the sun
oblivious to weeds wrapping around their fragile stems?

Dooms day is coming, and ready are the evil ones
driving around in red trucks and blue sedans;
wearing baseball caps and long gray hair, at least in my neighborhood

where invisible bars have appeared on our windows
and her bike now sits in the garage gathering dust.


The Trick and Its Treats


Characters in line, yet    s c A t t e R e d,
donning new costumes and knocking on doors

for tryouts
and interviews

while I stand at the curb,
peeking between fingers and trembling;

watching them reach for treats, not knowing
if the front porch light is on or off.

“I didn’t make it,” she cried.  My breath lodged
in my throat, knowing that this is real life (BOO!)

and she must feel it for all it is
because the alternative is worse –

high or low, smoked or sniffed,
emotional shut-down; silent behind
thick circles of black eyeliner.

They tell me not to quit five minutes before
the miracle happens and so, I tell her,

and she doesn’t.

And neither does he, as we see him
every night now, and at weekend games.

The trick: God’s perfect timing.

So grateful for blessings received this week. My daughter made a select volleyball team and hubby got a new position at work that cuts out his night and weekend hours. Thanks to Eric for the photo prompt.

No, No, Frogs


Two little dogs
who thought they were frogs
leaped around the yard.

Up in the air
with nary a care
they leaped and they leaped so hard.

The neighborhood cat
she smirked as she sat
watching such a sight.

Then they spotted her
but she merely purred
“No, no. Frogs do not bite.”

Writing children’s verse for dverse poets.

Tree Tops, Monkeys and One Banana


Thoughts in my head, like five monkeys with one banana* –
the damn family tree. The mind is the first to go
when one goes insane. Hah! …redundancy

was my thing until I “got me some pills to pop.”
Neurons, neurons, go away!  Come again some other day.
Their over-excitability’s a real drag at times, but no longer

or at least not mostly, like before when
I used to put pen to paper five times a week at least
(again, at least)…and now it is the very least

activity in my life because the neurons and their neurons
don’t come out to play. Maybe it’s the 105 degree heat
or summer camps and swimming pools. (I don’t remember

the excuses this past winter and spring.) Matters not!
I can breathe! I can breathe! I can breathe!

And I no longer need the sweet scent of tree pulp
to open airways constricted by yesterday’s dust.

But then again, I am a bit of a tree hugger…and underneath
the bark lies rings and rings arranged in a downward spiral
like the rabbit hole I know too well.

*a borrowed metaphor…thanks, B.

Can’t believe I am visiting d’Verse tonight. I’m so excited!

YOLO* and Other Vacation Bits

heart rock similar to the one I found in the restaurant parking lot after dinner.

heart rock similar to the one I found in the restaurant parking lot after tossing the Frisbee around in a nearby field after dinner.

Today was like my morning cup
of Starbuck’s coffee – filled to the brim:

Horseback riding, single file
until my horse turned back to
attack my husband’s mare.

A kink on the trail, a rift on the edge of a cliff,
all because his horse drew too near
to mine’s rear (no metaphor there!)

On to high ropes and balance beams galore,
twenty feet above the arcade floor.

I focused on my trembling child
through the camera’s lens
as she grasped the overhead strap
securely clasped to her harness.

I thought about how witnessing their falls
is the hardest part of all of being a parent.

Later, she grabbed my hand;
our eyes locked and she smiled.
Looking star-struck, she said,
“I love you, Mommy.”
“I love you, too,” I replied.

Then to the arcade; what luck!
My two normally feuding ducks
became one to conquer the claw,
each one capturing a huge knobby ball.

And the youngest, with baby elephant tucked under arm,
desperately fed the monster machine her own food,
praying it would regurgitate another stuffed cutie
for her sad older sister.

Next was 3-D golf under a mini-sea.
Sharks swiftly swam. Stingrays slyly smiled.
No score was kept for that would have only
interrupted the conduit of fun.

At dinner, my 12-year-old declared, “YOLO!”*
before tossing a jalapeño into her mouth. Oh!
Guts busted when wet paper lined her tongue
as she tried to wipe the fire with a four-ply napkin.

Next to her, my 8-year-old daughter’s French fries
fraternized on a Frisbee flipped up, which
we later threw around with bouts of laughter.

As the sun rose, I poured out some of my coffee
to make room for cream and sugar, like discarding
a week of work for a family vacation.

I sipped slowly and smiled softly
at the day I didn’t yet know,
at the memories which lied ahead.

*YOLO – You Only Live Once