Ursa Minor

(originally posted July 30, 2013)

I could use a child’s wooden foot
stool to reach the last

days of July. Painted red
or a mustard almost

too rich to see
in summer. So much has been written

about April’s
cruelty, but it is the majestic

peak of August
I cannot bear. Such a short distance

to pitch and tuck
into a somersault

down an observatory crowned
hill toward fall. Before

the month ends,
my father will die

all over again, and life will continue
without him. No ladder will stretch

high enough into the sky
to reach all those stars we reckoned our spirits with.

Before Outdoor Music and Movie Night

Gray explosions
on white on
a shower

curtain say more
than a rainbow
garden of stripes

or petals or
letters of an alphabet
gone mad. And

the red

towel hanging
over the bar

becomes the doorway
to fabric tunes

in motion. Splat
ball in a claw

foot tub might sound
like this.

Loopers

Hairless brown ones
drop from urban tree branches
to clutter the sidewalk
with warning signs. Nowhere
near the Jersey Shore,
memories fall harder
and evaporate to become
invisible sagas
no one wants
to repeat. I would give
anything to see that condensation
on bark again.

After Solstice

Chilled by indecision—even a bad choice brings on
summer momentum. I might

go out after
dark. Could swallow flavored water while the camera

runs. Staged accidental
encounters are the new absence

of light
when I dig deep enough into this primitive season.

Recount

Four children four
seasons—does it begin
with spring or winter?
It all depends—

whether we are dormant
before we live, whether
we can begin again, whether
autumn counts at all.