There’s this dusty sunshine in my attic.
It is soft around the edges and has a worn, warm look about it.
I feel the world slow its turning to match the graceful pirouette
of what looks like a cloud of memories
gently glinting and turning in the shaft of light.
Long shadows drawn across my Grandparent’s souvenirs,
strappy leather trunks and paper hat boxes stacked neatly
holding the bones of their life, awaiting my touch to reveal their secrets.
To reach them, I have to break through the crust of my childhood
scattered across the surface of my Parent’s early life.
Square cardboard boxes, some so soft from use
they drape across their contents like fabric.
Shoeboxes poke out here and there,
spring flowers turning toward the light.
Everywhere I reach I touch some shiny treasure of my life;
not packed up, but simply lying where it dropped as it made its way here.
Too good to throw away, too precious for the thrift store,
too poignant to keep on my nightstand any longer.
Every object is a soft burst of emotion,
little echoes of feeling falling against my chest
like the dull thud of distant fireworks.

A noise from below breaks my unexpected reverie.
I feel lost and disoriented, as if I had wandered into Starbucks
after living in the wilderness for a year.

I gather my thoughts along with the Christmas lights I had come to retrieve
and head back down into the depths of home,
where currents run deep as they push and pull me along,
time once more running at the speed of life.



Butterfly Glue

I remember the girls of my summers

as if she were held together with butterfly glue,

the one who taught me that sandy beaches make salty kisses.

The one that ran like wild horses

in the hard packed sand

at the edge of the surf

until I staggered to a halt

heart fluttering against my chest like a scared caged bird

hands on my knees

trying not to fall all the way down

while she pounds to a graceful halt

in the summer light

The one running back to me 

on a lonely road 

to say I love you

The one at the party 

where we were wearing yellow paper hats 

celebrating famous heads

as the rain streaked the scant street lights

down her windows

and laughter poured from our souls

The one walking outside

along the fence

where the horses talk about

how the grass is greener

everywhere but here,

her smile striking glancing blows against my heart

The one whose life force thrummed against my being

holding me upright though I felt like

water running through her fingers

The one that met my eyes across the boardwalk and smiled

freezing me to that moment in time 

without ever speaking her name,

vanishing in the wash of bodies

as I stood rooted as an old oak.

I remember the girls of my summers,

memories held together with butterfly glue

memories as sharp as that look

she used to spear me with

when I made bad jokes

As painful as her elbow in my ribs

when I spoke fluent stupid

As soft and quiet as that still moment together

sitting in the dusk on the damp spring ground,

shoulders touching, drawing the same sweet breath

I still can taste.



I had that moment

when the bell rings

and you’re free

so for the first time since morning

I had the sun on my back

and my feet on the ground

when the purr of an engine

turned my eyes and my mind skyward

catching the tail of a

tiny silver bird 

gathering my stray thoughts

behind it like balloons on a string

as it lumbers away from me

defining some lazy trail

turning across the Sun

this silver bird flashes red

bursting my balloons with its percussion

scattering my thoughts across the sky

like marbles from a shattered jar

leaving me standing mindless

in the glow from the fuselage

in the field

in the moment

in sharp clarity of vision

yearning to bridge the airy gap

between myself 

and the silver bird.



Winter Wood

I walk in the wood at dusk

As the sun gathers up its last rays of the day

Leaving the warm air heavy with mist

Long tendrils curling up from the earth

And winding through the trees,

Climbing toward the newly darkened sky

Spreading through limbs and across paths

Dulling the moonlight to grey where it lands around me

Silver light glancing off wet, barren limbs

In my winter wood

Stands of trees reaching up and out

Of the silver light, colliding their way up the ridges

And closing over my head as I climb with them,

Heading for the apex where I can look out

Over the valley below, slowly filling

With the fog, white now from above 

As the moonlight falls

Over this winter wood

Ridges rising askew around me, great prehistoric behemoths

Flexing their wrinkled backs across my landscape

As they lie in silence under the winter sky

Seas of white mist now froth about in the rising wind,

Lifting even higher, rising beyond the valley walls

To spill into the darkening night, chasing the moon

As her circuit ends and the night truly comes,

Darkness closing first along the path behind me, 

Slowly shrouding the trees from the ground up

Tendrils of mist twirling up and up in pursuit of the moon

As if to join the clouds to the forest,

The sky to the earth,

And captured between

I walk in the winter wood


Drexel Fair

The crowd pressing together like flower petals lodged in a closing book

long impatient lines filled with anticipation writhe across the slow-moving traffic 

air thick with caramel smell, leaving your skin as sticky as a cotton candy bath

fresh-squeezed lemonade running down your throat 

and down your back as the thickly-woven throng jostles its way around the carnival field

creaking constructs of steel rising in bright pylons from the pressing sea of bodies

screaming scheming dreamers washing in and out of the rides like a 

crazy accelerated tide of sweating bodies rolling in breakers across the fair.

Dark empty rigs circled like wagons under attack

thrumming generators making them shake and rumble in concert with the rides

the rise and fall of excited voices muted by their mass

a still small space in the midst of madness. 

Slipping through the gauntlet in a short-cut to excitement creep a 

mother and daughter, laughing at some private joke and flicking popcorn at each other

like jocular priests dispensing holy water.

A young couple dash across the opening

awkwardly holding hands as if not sure how that badge of attachment works but certain

so certain that they want to display it.

Streams of happy faces flowing past the gaps seem as flat as a faded snapshot

in the bright flickering lights of the FREEDOM 2000 that are beating back the night

wind from the Hurricane Bobsled slicking back hair

the Scrambler whip-cracking around its ring like an overwhelmed lion tamer who has lost his chair. 

Barkers siphoning money from the passing crowd 

with more efficiency than an electrolux demonstrator finds dirt in your clean carpet

balls and darts and plastic rings zipping across the primitive booths in search of trophies

mighty hunters stalking great stuffed idols to gift their Queens.

Threads of celebration ravel into darkness as

languid columns of cars shift slowly out of formation

bleeding away in all directions as the clashing discordant blaring fades in the distance

the clunking thunking chunking rhythms of the rides grow still 

and get packed away like childhood dreams folded up in soft blankets

waiting for another to discover them. 

Morning sun slants across the freshly emptied expanse

timid stalks of grass rising from among their crushed fellows

peering through the detritus of this passing orgy

flattened cups and candy apple cores 

lying fallow in the deeply rutted tire tracks 

whose puddly presence in the spring 

will be the only reminiscence this field can muster.