Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Woman Who Takes Everything and Leaves Nothing

she comes in late,
breeezing in with her large bag
with nothing inside,
her red cashmere scarf wrapped loosely
around her small shoulders, her carefully
coiffed blonde curls, her immaculate make-up.
how lovely the table has been set already
with the finest bread, cheese and sausages,
shrimp, pate and wine, she indulges herself
while correcting us on cinema and theatre
only to leave abruptly upon finishing her wine,
she blows kisses our way, leaving us
to pay the teacher with gratitude
for what she brings us.
this woman goes home
with $20 in her purse, but
so much poorer.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Laughter and Tears

i spotted her across the table
in tears, then laughter, a smile,
it was like watching a tornado
blocking out a blue sky for a moment
before passing on, a cloud
shadowing a green field.
the field is no longer green under
moonlight, the sky is no longer
blue when a tornado crossed.
her smile sagged as the
thunderstorm moved
across her face, i know she is
raining inside.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Frog Prince

he called to me from a tree
at the Atlanta Botanical Garden,
my frog prince, the one who would
hold me on a cold winter night
in his green froggy arms, the jewels 
on his arms and legs would sparkle
in the firelight and his eyes would
gaze at me lovingly.  
when I kiss him, he will turn into
a handsome prince...
for one of my
lonely girlfriends.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Talking Poems

along the snow covered path
i talk poems, a bird calls and i respond in poetry.
\the crunch of the snow under my boots
releases another poem which floats up
into the trees, i leave ashes and glorious
flames behind me.
the words flow from me like the river
next to me, each molecule of water
bouncing against a neighbor, only to find
another like the words that lift into the air
from my lungs, i forget them as soon as
they are spoken but the weight of
their truth stays with me.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Writing French through the generations

he said he'd write back in French,
she never would, the one who knows French better
than both of us, him and me, we struggle
to remember the right words, the tense...
is it the subjunctive or passe compose, or maybe
just plain present or future, she would know,
the native speaker who happens to be my mother,
but she won't write in French.  I will,
stumbling in translation, making mistakes,
laughing at his and my own, we trip over
verb tenses and forget accents, no matter,
we do it together, that's all that matters.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Saying Good-bye

i say good-bye, my backpack slung over my shoulder,
raincoat buttoned, i reach up to hug him, down to hug her
small body, wrapping my arms tight around her.
it's time to say good-bye, to get on a train, a plane,
a bus, a car and head home.
some of my heart is torn away, wanting to stay,
knowing i have to leave, unwilling and willing
in the same moment as i must go home,
they are ready for me to go home and resume
their life together, i hold in my heart our life
together, you as a little boy in my arms, now
in the arms of another
as it should be
as it must be
but i leave a little of my heart behind
a small tear, half of happiness
half of sad.