Tag Archives: safety

Farmer’s Market

It is dark, impending thunder, high winds;
Slate grey caution in the wall of clouds
In the imminent distance, momentary
Hesitation to head downtown away from
The promised safety of home, to the streets
Where farmer’s, bakers, florists, artisans
All specifically entwined, connected to
The wares that lay on or under tables, maybe
Being stored protectively on the organic seats of
Old Toyotas, beds of big American made Fords, Chevys
The lovingly cared for old Dodge owned by
My first stop, a gentle well worn guy who
Does not allow me to place into my bag uncovered
What he acknowledges are small strawberries
But he adamantly asserts are the sweetest
You will ever enjoy, as are his bulbous green onions,
Asparagus proudly standing in formation
For free he provides the knowledge of his years
About each purchase I make, as he speaks I hug
The memory of the uncle who similar in looks; manner
Called me Lester, to make me one of the guys; included
Like his wife who welcomed all with time, cookies
Pleasure always in shared conversation, her patch
Of strawberries and asparagus hidden down the hill
From the lines of perfectly hung laundry gently
Acknowledging the breeze and ease of hanging out
He is gone now, and what she was is too, but I
Visit them with my heart every Saturday morning
Stormy, rainy, sultry, or cool at the pool of hosts,
And hostesses of my local Farmer’s Market


It Can Happen Just Like That

The text came from my oldest child, away
At camp, seven weeks as a counselor,
I have the night off and a ride both ways,
Will be leaving for home at 5:00, he said
Oh Good, we will order pizza, I reply
Me, his mother who is surprised
At his seeking, embracing so much
Responsibility, this young man whose
Bedroom floor is no longer discernible
From Sanford and Son’s scrap yard
In charge of the comings and goings of
So many other boys enjoying the same
Accommodations and lackluster food
The camaraderie of shared experience
My husband leaves to be somewhere
With our middle child, after I had hoped he would
Stay so we could all be home together, but he leaves
And his large silver SUV pulls away from the curb
The youngest, bored and lonely for his brothers,
Waits in the driveway shooting basketballs
His new hoop, anticipation mixed anxiously
In the secret missing he feels in his older
brother’s absence, I wait less steadily
For my first born’s delivery by the 17 year old driver
Who had to see his girlfriend, and maybe
Speeding on those curves of the northeast
Iowa bluffs to get a few more minutes
With what could be the love of his life
My son simply along for a ride home
These thoughts make me abruptly stop
Before removing make-up, just in case
I would get the call, not vanity, strictly
Preparation for what could happen
I do this to ready myself for the worst
It is such sweet relief when I am wrong
In these times of assumption, my husband
Insisting this makes me crazy, or at least
Morbidly negative, but I point out my necessity
For doing this is insurance against being brutally
Shocked by instantaneous personal disasters
On the driveway, oldest and youngest dribble,
Dribble, shoot, miss, dribble, shoot, joy with the swish
These two lovely in their simple comfortable play
Watch how fast I can dribble mom, he happily chirps as
He propels himself down the drive, towards the street,
Feet scurry to keep up, the ball moving out of his control,
And there, in the absolute corner of my eye that is not
Intent on his motion, a mini-van, teal blue approaching
In perfect unison with the legs and arms that are trying
To prove their worth, my vocal chords strangled in guttural
Terror scream his name without my conscious direction
Teal blue van gorgeously bouncing to a screeching halt
Silver SUV not blocking the view of a child bolting down a driveway
My sons safe, and all the vehicles driven by hands
That cannot cherish them, will keep driving down our street,
And giving them rides here and there, and my heart knows
My husband is correct, leaving my make-up on won’t
Protect them from all the things that can happen…just like that

Anxious in the Knowing

Speed, danger, roughhousing
Wrist, thumb, leg, foot, shoulder
The injury of the month club

Stair running, bed jumping
Skiing, zip-lining down across
Hills, tumbling through woods

Never ending careening
Hopping on wheels, by foot,
Flipping, skidding, jolting

For them thrills, excitement
Fears addressed, strength built
Sleep comes soundly, long, deep

Me pleading safety’s sake
Uphill downhill traversing
A path born of great resistance

Life held securely, safe, warm
Forty cushioned weeks, mine
Now each day a toss of dice

Find the balance, the acceptance
With them to be for them until
Time’s breath lashes frolic to stillness


Eat your vegetables, you won’t grow big and strong
(Mary Mother of God keep him healthy)
Wear a coat and a hat, you’ll get pneumonia
(Mary Mother of God keep him healthy)
Brush those teeth, you’ll thank me someday
(Mary Mother of God keep him healthy)
Wash your hands, you don’t know how many people touched that
(Mary Mother of God keep him healthy)
Chew your food, you’re gonna choke
(Mary Mother of God keep him healthy)

Hold onto the railing, you’ll fall down the stairs
(Mary Mother of God keep him safe)
Don’t run in the house, you’ll knock your teeth out
(Mary Mother of God keep him safe)
Wear a helmet, you’ll crack your head open
(Mary Mother of God keep him safe)
Look both ways and don’t play in the street, you’ll get hit by a car
(Mary Mother of God keep him safe)
Wear your seatbelt, you’ll fly through the windshield
(Mary Mother of God keep him safe)

Tell the bully to stop, you’ll never feel good about yourself
(Mary Mother of God protect him)
Don’t play that video game, you’ll become violent
(Mary Mother of God protect him)
Say no if a friend offers you drugs, you’ll become a drug addict
(Mary Mother of God protect him)
Don’t talk to strangers, you’ll get taken from me and who knows what
(Mary Mother of God protect him)
If a gunman comes into your classroom?
Mary Mother of God where are you?