Wednesday, July 27, 2011

3WW: Banter, Fumble, Glance

The old woman fumbles
with the bandage
wrapped around
her wounded wrist

like the pain pills
and booze
she wraps her mind
in to stop the pain.

I glance at her
and see the mess
she’s making.
I walk over

to help even though
she did this
to herself. I see
the stack of dirty

dishes in the sink,
the medication containers
lined up
like soldiers

waiting to fight,
the empty Absolut
bottle. I wrap
the ace bandage

loosely around
her arm. “Can
you go to the store
for me? I’m all out

of vodka.” I shake
my head no, too afraid
to open my mouth,
afraid all the negative

banter in my head
will spew out,
will cover her,
will kill her.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Carry On Tuesday: Neither a Borrower nor a Lender Be

The sun is just starting
to smear butter
on the turning
leaves as my students

prepare modern
of Shakespeare’s
“Neither a borrower

nor a lender be” speech.
I’ve divided the scene
into three sections:
one where Laertes

is giving Ophelia advice
about Hamlet, two where
Polonius is giving
Laertes advice

about living, and three
where Polonius is
grilling Ophelia
about her relationship

with Hamlet. I tell
the kids to have fun
with it, pretend it’s
happening today.

How would these situations
play out in the 21st century?
I roam around the room
as they practice

keeping an eye on them
and on the progress
of the sun now filling
the cup of each leaf

with lemonade. When
they’re ready, the groups
begin their presentations.
Laertes warns his sister

that Hamlet will never
marry her and he’s just
using her. Polonius
mangles his bits of advice

until nobody knows what
the heck he’s talking about.
I try to stay focused
but the sun, scampering,

now, through the underbrush
is drawing my eyes away.
Finally, the last group
heads to the front of the room.

Ophelia perches on the edge
of a table, legs swinging.
Polonius paces in front of her.
“So, Ophelia,” he says. “Are you

and Hamlet doing the no-pants
dance? The room erupts
in hoots. I can’t keep from
laughing, too. The sun winks.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

3WW: Indecision, Option, Fate

The sky
of my morning
is a white board
for words

or pictures
or scribbles.
I’ll start
with breakfast-
so many

options: yellow
and white eggs,
or raspberry
jam on toast,
or sliced

banana on English
muffin. I sit
a squirrel
in the woodpile

flit back
and forth
like my indecision.
I’ll just let

grab a marker
or two,
maybe a red
and a black
to doodle.

Oh, she’s choosing
blue and yellow.
Time to eat
and go
to the beach.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Woods for Sunday Scribblings

I pick Kathy up
and we head
into the woods

first walking
up Labossiere St.
then past

the concrete factory.
Finally, we enter
the cool chapel

of green. We
scramble over rocks
that were once

part of an avalanche
until we reach
the base

of Mt. Forist.
We climb by grabbing
hold of bushes

growing on the edge
of the steep
rock face

until we are
opposite an overhang.
Then, inch by inch

we cross the gray
granite, patiently
planting our feet

and hands
into little cracks.
When we reach

the outcropping,
we sit, high above
the city, queens

surveying our realm.
I see my tiny
mother hanging

clothes on the line.
Kathy’s brother
is riding his bike.

My sister
and her friend
are playing tag.

A car turns
the corner from Fifth Avenue
and has to stop

to wait for the girls
who are playing
jump rope

to get out
of the road. All’s right
in our neighborhood.

We eat our snack,
talk about this and that,
then leave our perch

to slide down,
enter the tunnel
of woods, again,

that transforms us
from roayalty into two girls
going home.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Leaves of the Poet-tree: Journal

Ah, retirement
minutes, hours, days, thoughts, words~
four new journals.
Linda's Poems