Mound View Cemetery – my happy place

Mound View Cemetery

Long have I walked among the stones

They taught me how to read

I rode my bike along the roads

With Daddy guiding me


He took me up to “Dirt Bomb Hill”

We played with clods of soil

He led us to the old oak tree

Where squirrels often toil


Some days rounding the last bend

Un-pocket chosen stones

Racing, kicking them along

While beneath lay silent bones


The yard was always peace to me

Until sweet Caroline

Baptized in holy water

Drank communion wine




Snow Day

Sugar sifting through the sky

Meets the earth and turns to lye.

As it speeds without a sound

Icing coats the cold, hard ground.

Cherry noses press the glass

Crossing fingers for “no class.”

Dusty blue shadows of trees

Sway in the minty breeze.

The moment that the word is out,

Finger crossers jump and shout.

On 3 socks, 2 shirts, 1 hat,

coat, and boots from the door side mat.

Go fetch the plastic sled to play.

There’s something magical the 1st snow day.

The Living Tree

A tear of blood and water fell onto my chest dying the white muslin. A reddening pool spread across my blouse as if I’d been shot. As if it were my own blood.

I held the little head beside my heaving heart and looked forward instead of down. Along the path children sat dusting their eyes.

Their burning eyes. Their bleeding eyes. The dust made tears. The tears washed the dust and the blood.

None of the children cried out. They only cried with their eyes.

I stared forward at The Father’s hut.

He would have the answer. He always had the answer.

The setting sun danced between the branches of the Living Tree. I stomped my feet on the rag mat and tapped the base of the door with one bare foot.


“Sha, Father.”

The door opened inward.

I ducked inside holding the little head close.

“So you’ve come.”

“Yes, Father.”

“I couldn’t help the others.”

“I will help the others.”

He furrowed the white bushes above his clear, clean eyes.


“Yes.” I laid the child before his leather knees. “I will taste the Living Tree.”

“For her?”

I sat straight and stared at him.

“For all.”

He stared into my clean eyes.

“You know – “

“I know.”

He stood hobbling out. The wet, pink muslin stuck to my skin. He returned with a four-petaled flower.

I took it, stepped out, and tasted it in the light of the setting sun. Their blood was now my blood.


Lonely Postcard

{A dear, dear friend of mine gave me a story box as a graduation present. It has old books, miniature candelabras, baby sneakers, and among other things old post cards. My story box is for inspiration. Here is my first inspiration from my story box.}

postcard pillars

58 Pillars.

I’ve counted them hundreds of times.

Arches, arches, arches – plants in a walk-through garden.

I see the stark white sky and the deep darkness of the ribbed ceiling.

To the eye, the pillars shrink off to the deadened left side.

“Palermo – Chiostro Monreale”

I don’t know where it is, but I long to be there.

The plants rustle in the wind – or maybe the stagnant air presses down and one retreats under the pillars for shade.

I have held this card more times than there are pillars.

I glide my finger across the worn back side.

The blank side.

If I had any money, I’d go to “Palermo – Chiostro Monreale”

and send myself this postcard.

Earth Out My Window


“Hey diddy dee,

A kitty’s in the tree,

Don’t climb high,

You’ll skin your knee.”

Her breath blew into my hair.

“Iym puddle diddy,

Hey diddy dee.

The sun sets low

On the big blue sea.”

She swayed with the words in an even, slow cadence.

“High puddle

Low puddle

Hey diddy dee,

Tell me true,

Do you love me?”

Her soft lips pressed the top of my head. Warm air from her nose rustled my hair.

“Some day, Xavier,” she said, holding me close. “You will see a tree. Maybe a kitty cat too.”

“Hmm,” I said.

“Yes, you’ll like kitty cats.” She rubbed her cheek against my head. “They say, ‘Meow meow’, and they have hair all over.”

“Emm hmm!” I said.

“Oh, yes, they are very soft.” She shifted her weight and turned us away from the window.

“Eh ahh!” I protested. I wanted to see the Earth.

“Now, Xavy, you know its time for moon rise.”


I knew.

I knew everything.

“High puddle

Low puddle

Hey diddy dee,

Tell me true,

Do you love me?”

What is Strength?

“Tell me, what is strength?

For I long to know the bane.

Is it fighting young, eating well,

or walking in the rain?”

“No,” you say, “I’ll show you strength

farther than eye can see.

Emerald grass, clear paned glass

of humming wing of bee

reflect and grow in wind and snow

the beautiful strength I know.”

“But wars,” I say, “What have they

to do with green and wing?”

“That strength,” you say, “Is taught

by those who fought and sing.

My quiet strength runs deep and true.

Somewhere deep inside of you,

this silent strength holds your heart too.”

“I only wish,” I say in sigh,

“This elusive strength would cease to hide

then I would take it – spread it wide.”

“My dear,” you say with smile soft,

“Alas this dream is not far off,

for strength in nature planted here

points us to a country ever near.”