What will you do now?

Her words echoed my
own disorganized thoughts.

I knew where she
was leading
and I didnt want
to go there.


He was a minstrel

a balladeer on a shoestring
with a wooden box
of sentiment to melt
a pretty woman's heart
and put a sparkle
in her eyes.

He wasnt worthless
but he wasnt much good
apart from the music.

His forte' was a story
wrapped in common clothes
a pocketful of salty songs
with sand in the shoes
for good measure.


Who writes letters?

Old letters are often
used as vehicles
in plays, books, poetry.

Who writes letters?

We write our thoughts
in emails and blogs.

music, poetry
even art
are composed on machines.


John's Dead

I remember saying the words
still shocked.

I had heard
by accident.
Mom and her sisters
and a cousin or two
hair up in curlers
or being teased into
those high doos that women
wore back then
were getting ready
for the funeral.

I was eleven and he had been
my closest substitute for
...........................a big brother.
He was with me the day
of JFK's funeral.
They shared the name
.....................John Kennedy.
The war that was never a war
had taken him from us.

I had watched one funeral on television.
The other I didnt see at all.


On January Days

I would stand
quiet in the field behind
my grandparents' house
not just looking at the woods
and fields that surrounded me.

Time was
in that

Impressions embedded
gently into subconsciousness
nestling like children under
thick warm blankets.

Cold wind whirred in my ears
pulling a long strand
of hair across closed lips.

Smells of woodsmoke
and frozen prairie grass
mingled with the more
pungent tang of bovine
excrement from the dairy.

Naked and ageless
trees pointed their twiggy
fingers up
to a mass of gray
overhanging clouds.

Those things
 the cold and the wind
the smells and the colorless trees
visit me now in these gray January days.



Sometimes I thought it was
her favorite word.

When we met
her hair was a long
black braid that whipped
behind as she ran.

And she ran.

Despacia te!
her mother would shout,
but it was not in her

Like that braid I ran after her
....................for a very long time.