Putting Together with Light

When I can’t recognize
the taste of my own
name on the tip

of this inherited tongue.
When water terrifies
but is the only way.

When light’s brilliance
before death
takes me by the hand.

When I’ve got no place
else to go,

the rhythm of you
big ole’ muddy river.

Loring Park Begins

A misty morning embraces
October’s auburn to tawny prairie
grass that rims my city
pond beneath smoke
white skies. How can I ignore

the beauty
in change
even if death
is involved?


And time to put away
the dresses, seal
windows shut, remember
my stupid hat and gloves

and the fastest route
through the largest skyway
network to a view
of the river
where grief can flow.

New Normal

The morning after
it all, I wonder
when, where, how
it will emerge.

When will
the aftershocks
of his death cease?

Where did
the bagpiper go,
where should
those empty shells
from the gun salute go?

How will
I know
this is
the new normal?

Broken Drought

As quickly as
the rain stops, my heart
aches anew
for the sound
of your voice—
the reassurance
that I truly am
as I truly should
be this moment.


You say let’s celebrate
Columbus—Day. I’ll dirty
my trench coat
for you. I could be a detective
the way I’ve perfected the stalk
without disturbing

anyone, especially the dead. I yell
at those people
who climb on the red metal
sculpture in a public garden.
It’s not a slide. I’m no grave
digger. Archaeologist—never. Who
gets to say what’s sacred or how

to achieve closure? It’s time to give
those bones a rest.

Minnesota Deuce

Twenty years into this
relocation west
of the Mississippi, I will

become the original
version of Another
Girl, Another Planet.

Just for today, no
cover. And maybe tonight.
And perhaps the next

full moon lighting
up the river’s only
natural falls.