Three Things

Malice is in higher offices.
Evil, rather.
Perhaps they will use correctly deceitful language.
“I was faithfully performing the job entrusted to me.”
There, I say, you have your god. They might live
and gnash forever.

Concrete Mary is near me. She lost
Her hands
before I pulled her from the trash.
It used to be St Francis stood next to her,
two cripples, it would seem,
She, without body beyond her wrists,
And he in a termite hollowed tunic, chipped bird on his hand.
I brought him inside to have a word
With the oven mice. Now he lives behind the broom.

There is a lady
Who dies weeping
Sores on her legs
She wills them to move
Centimeter by centimeter.
Stubbornness. Dislodgement.
She is only 96.

These are three things I think about.

And a fourth that matters most:
My children, Your children, The children.
We will destroy their futures
Or they will save us.

One Month


For one month I was asleep,

sometimes with my eyes open, sometimes resting flat on the bed with my eyes closed.

In my dreams

repeated repeated repeated

I took my son to the Emergency room

to breathe.

In my dreams

there was sand and sun but no ocean.

In my dreams

there was ocean and sun but no sand.

In my dreams

I shivered and I wore a hat

so the heat from my body didn’t fly out of the top of my head.

Then I awoke

And the leaves fell from the trees with startling suddenness,

as if from grace.

No drift. No swoop. No gentle sway.

Heavy and unmoored

they landed as everything will

in grace.


Along the Path

Along the path, under Chicago Avenue, where the creek is overflowing its banks, I saw a fish, a dinner-for-two sized fish. I’ve never seen a fish in Minnehaha creek. And after, where the left tine of the fork becomes dirt, the trees and bushes and wild flowers lean in close. The air is fat with creek water and sand and pine, black soil and prairie grass. Be careful of all the magic out there.


You said I am ridiculous.

You have called me crazy.

What do you imagine you are defending?

But I will tell you this:

I am crazy

like the crazy bird singing,

At last, at last the sun has come out,

like the crazy tree groaning,

The wind, the wind is blowing east,

like the crazy dog barking,

This chain, this chain is hurting me.

Or maybe it is just voice, deeper than human reason,

the sound of being

what they are.