Eucalyptus leaves
season the deck with earth-toned
clattering teardrops

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Let Him Be


He had a chance but never took a shot.
I know he always meant to, but somehow
the moment never interrupted: not
important, just distracting. Every vow
to make a move was countered or postponed,
with little growth or progress the result.
When circumstances knocked or telephoned
he sparked, and then avoided all tumult.

How come that bothered me? a buddy asked.
Responding that I’d leave the guy in peace
except he moaned unhappily, and tasked
me to advise him. Bah: it’s time to cease
improving words to any ears but mine.
He could be worse. He’s relatively fine.

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The Last Label


“Low maintenance” is how my kids describe
me now they’re grown and I’m at times their guest.
When they were young I fed them diatribe
and anecdote, but both of them have stressed
I wasn’t harsh or selfish. So I told
my brother I outgrew demanding ways,
but he maintains I wasn’t hard to hold
or hear at home. My mirror starts to craze.

I guess I was a trial for the men
who married me. Our linkage didn’t bloom,
because I was unheard and grumpy then?
(I realize now I needed my own room).
At 68, it hits me like a bomb:
I bought a careless label from my mom.

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The Other Fog


Had to fog the house
to choke summer’s immigrants –
rat fleas and rat mites

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The Project


In order to improve I have to move.
I mean it – that’s no Sunday metaphor.
The plumbing off, no other pipes in lieu
of it, I might abide the noise and more,
but I can’t prosper waterless in place.
I want the end; I’m not at home with means.
That means I have to abdicate my base
for 13 weeks, and dwell in stranger scenes.

But maybe I’ll get lucky where I land.
Perhaps I’ll be more comfortable away
and more content than anything I’ve planned.
If not, at least I’ll count down to the day
when I can move back home, to home enhanced,
repaired, refreshed and better-circumstanced.

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No Duh


I think that I’m so smart but married twice,
two men it’s clear I didn’t clearly see.
And sure I paid a pained and heavy price,
but nothing made me plumb their mystery
until long after each had gone away.
A waiter tipped me off on that one’s drink,
and only recently did someone say
enough to make me note the other’s brink.

“Is there depression in your family?”
my baby’s bride inquired, and I said
“Not really. Some had strong anxiety,
or fear of crowds or driving cars instead.”
But then she pointed at my children’s dad.
Of course. That wasn’t anger. He was sad.

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Disruption is a catalyst for growth.
Although my place will be improved by spring,
I’ll have to undergo a move I’m loath
to make, so others can be hammering,
removing and rebuilding to refine
dimensions and the cabinets and bed.
They’ll work with a considerate design,
but I’ll need somewhere else to lay my head.

Three months are weeks too many to impose
as guest, but thank you for the offer made.
My budget won’t afford a trip to those
I’ve always meant to visit. Though I’ve stayed
with my descendants well, a quarter year
is out. I’ll have to sublet someplace near.

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