Glen Brook Winter
The frost hit us
last night: it crept
along our windowsills
it snaked through our windshields
our meadow in
a fine array of crystal casings.
An afternoon previous, the field
critter crawled, blade shook
in a sun drenching, light engulfing
As the sun slowed down beneath
the hill, the grass stilled:
worms slept in rigid lines
beetles paused in mid munch
dew formed solid sheets
tucking in all for the evening,
for the time being
And the soil became like glue.
The earth, once fraught with
clinks, bites, wind chimes
But what the meadow took for
the white gleam of the moon
arrived as the gust of a frost
leaving all stillness behind.
Once it descends, once it passes
like the Angel of Death:
no life remains fleshy, tender;
its touch renders
each blade, each leg, each
vein an icicle, waiting
for the ascent of light,
hoping for release
Nana creaks over flat pine floors
her walker fitted with tennis ball soles
hips set forward in slow motion
tannish sun splotches on her knuckles.
her walker, a wire rimmed basket
moves laden with thin plastic frames
colored heavily by a photo with my round
face pressed against the square pane slab
fingers twirling and Nana reaches into her basket, she
clenches the frame in her crinkled knuckles
folding and creasing like used up gift wrap,
her gummed mouth insisting--
such a beauty.
hastening on, now, she stumbles in an arthritic
slide or shuffle to the
sticky kitchen table, and she lowers her hot
red sweatpant hips to the chair
heaves a sigh and air rushes out, a
leaking breathe and I think I
hear her dentures rattle.
Nana has arrived
at six on the morning.
the kitchen traps her oxygen in clicks
and beeps of microwave doors. time gestates, wanders,
my eyes flit from her knuckles to her mouth. I see
the ooze of energy from her pore spaces:
the armpits of her blouse sagging, aged
scalp molecules flaking. shedding dry confetti
nail beds host to beads of her age,
my swollen face peers
earnestly through the walker’s wires.
Nana’s skin hangs more deeply
grooved wrinkles and moisture accumulates,
sets, appears, and she waits for dinner –
its muted beckoning is lost in the twelve hour
layover: she waits and smiles,
grips and grins.
The turkeys are in the trees!
Tails turned up, red rims showing,
heads cocked, feet gripped up
ten, fifteen feet.
There’s seven of them,
large things, their red heads
counteracting the swing and heave of
balance on those spindly branches,
two, maybe three, inches thick.
It looks like they are swaying,
catching gusts with a tail flume,
leaning into balance with a forward fall, and
they hold on tight, wings pressed firm
as their tail continues to guide, to counter,
the prevailing winds that threaten their stay in the
The whole thing, the whole pack,
it seems like a trick of the eye,
a defiance of normalcy, of
“physics”--a round and rather large
troupe of turkeys sits heavily in the
thin upper branches, waging war with the wind and
Reflections on Adulthood
The sky casts down its black grip,
beady white orbs staring down, and we are
entranced by their gaze, humbled by their size,
saddened by their distance.
You are almost, too far, too close, out of
reach, and the things that used to move us
only nudge us over now, and the
words that used to freeze us only
pause us mid-step, and our bones
have grown thick, our mid-sections
thicker; our eyes are getting focused
on the words that affirm us.
The time hastens onward, and we squeeze
the reigns a little tighter, pulling, then heaving
backward because the time won’t stop galloping,
full force ahead.
So we pat our hair against the wind,
checking that the chins are still smart and the
chests are still full, and we glance to the side,
not seeing those faces that cause the fumble,
not hearing those words that would make us
until we stop, that is, until we
Lady in a Dream
The city sidewalk couldn’t contain her.
She pounded out each step, black loafers
shifting concrete, paving roadways.
Fingers taught and skin tight, she gripped
the plastic grocery bags as if for dear life.
Three bags toppled her figure, pulled it
left then right, then upright again.
She had worked a nine hour day, just
wanted to make it home, her awareness
made thin by the computer office space hours.
Each day pushed into the next, she filled it with
eighty percent work, ten percent time, ten percent
sleep. And the time she packed, stuffed up with
dinner, friends, talking, poking, prodding, sighing,
and some days, grocery shopping.
And the sidewalk let her pass, let her dash on through,
a rushing whirling pace of legs, a doing filling
mess of limbs, and she moved like she moved and she
thought that’s all there was, until there