Tag Archives: free verse


The road that takes me from the highway to my home
It’s a roller coaster road where you see the top
Of the next hill from the one you’re currently on
Right before you drop down you see the apple tree farm
The sign is blue that alerts you it’s more than
A house with more than just a family living there
Most days the journey is filled with thoughts and problems
Lists and schedules passing through my brain
The nagging reminders of the necessary that are
Hard to escape when heading away from work to home
Today, the first fully lovely day of this spring with
The countryside aglow in green, in newness and
Possibilities that make one so happy to be of this earth
In the valley of the road there is a gaggle of gangly
Legged laughing girls their smiles flashing silver
The sun reflecting their giggles, they pull their hands down
Signaling for honks from compacts and SUVs
All of us with horns on steering wheels, effort
Not required, no pulling necessary, just a few light taps
On my wheel and those girls, the five of them
Successful making memories together in this
Common desire to feel good, the ease of my gift
Little honks from my little red car, and all of us; we’re smiling

The Kids Couldn’t Find Me While Playing Hide n Seek

Able yet unwillingly to
Disincline my reclining
From this unceremonious
Choice to do nothing but
Be no one to anyone
Unrealized enjoyment of a
Sluggish unslovenly spot
Hurriedly, smartly falling
This cushioned holding cell
Irresponsible partners
No parole for this criminal
Whose only conviction being
Tired is as tired does
Until they finally find me

Home Sick

He counts the squares yelling his wonder
Can you believe it, spring is in three days
Snow blowing past windows this empty day
All I saw, so quiet, while beneath the quilt,
That was a wedding gift from my sister n law
Giving comfort to this ailing stomach

His dad as excited as he that skiing will
Continue for another week, chattering
On about the new schedule after school
That now must include their favorite thing
The noise of shared excitement, and camaraderie
Their boisterousness a welcome intrusion

On a day of bad tv, reading, and solemn sleep
The woods out back still a lovely view of calm
Brown branches like powdered sugar treats
Messages from friends lamenting Easter eggs that
Will have to be hidden in the snow; the mess of it
Though secretly, I am happy my son sees it as a gift

Beware The Ides of March

Babe was a guy who owned a big tavern against a giant rock bluff in a town across the river from us
Dad took me there a few times, going over the bridge, sunshine becoming a foreign intruder when we opened the door to leave
My dad worked on the side bar-tending for Babe, that extra money probably a necessity for his family of seven with one on the way
Being only 4, I didn’t understand why this grown man was called Babe,
and I asked this man behind the big oval bar
He always gave me a kiddie cocktail, which sounded like kitty to me and I didn’t understand that either, he chuckled as I
Enjoyed the deliciousness of that red with the cherries and the orange slice on the teeny tiny colored sword that balanced across the top
On my tenth birthday my mom was still in the hospital with something they were calling high blood pressure
My dad took me to a supper club, just the two of us on a school night, and Babe was there
He joked around with my dad and laughed that my favorite meal was a bacon and American cheese melted on toast
Babe always seemed to be laughing, and as he left he said to my dad, “Beware the Ides of March with that one huh, Buck?”
I never seemed to get Babe’s jokes, so Dad explained that some guy named Caesar’s murder was predicted to happen on March 15th
Ides means middle, Dad said, and so some fortune teller told Caesar to beware the Ides of March
The fortune teller was right, and Caesar’s good friend Brutus helped to kill Caesar on March 15th
Babe was just being funny dad said, no one was going to kill me. Babe just likes to joke around
Being with dad, his only daughter, out where people always put a smile on their faces when they talked to him, was special
My Dad taking me to a restaurant all by myself on my birthday with my five brothers eating who knows what, at home, and Babe joking around
One of the best moments ever!
Even though I didn’t understand much of the joking, everyone was laughing, and it was my birthday
And I wasn’t so scared then that my mom didn’t get to come home for my birthday; like she promised

The Real Kind of BFF

This is the first in a series of birthday memories honoring the people who have made every year’s struggles easier and all the goodness more joyful!

In second grade my mom organized the very first of the only two organized birthday parties of my life
The second grade event was the typical affair with cake and ice cream; no one served meals back then
I had to bribe my friend Susan to come by promising to tell her where to sit to get the plate with the secret mark on it
There was a tour of the bakery facility for her Brownie troop the same day as my birthday party
The girl whose father owned the bakery promised she would get the most donuts, and Susan loved donuts
There is no recollection of the gifts I received or whether we played the clothespin game, but we probably did
I remember tiny red headed Maureen O’Connor crying because no one was paying attention to her
She sat in our front entryway threatening to go home, and soon I was pouting in a corner
My mom, who doesn’t like prima-donna behavior, even from a birthday girl, told me to behave and be a good hostess
Maureen won the “Guess How Many Jelly Beans in the Jar” game with my mom, oddly, very close at her side
My best friend Nancy, who also knew about me giving away the secret plate game to Susan, was sure it was a set up
When they call me this year, almost 40 years later, like they do every year on my birthday, I will see if they remember
Nancy still likes candy in big jars all over her kitchen, and Susan still loves donuts…their laughter…still the best gift!