Friday, February 25, 2011

The Widow's Ghost Visits Her Daughter

You've moved out.
Tell yourself this time you really mean it.
Recall how I used to twist
my marriage band around my finger.  
Or maybe it's nothing like that at all.

You're nine months and feel a contraction, 
make the mistake of calling my old number.
At the next Stop sign, you grab something 
that sticks to your finger like batter to chicken
when you moan, Oh.

Or maybe this week you're driving the kids to their soccer game.
You're lost,  turn on the GPS. 
November butting up against the holidays. You remember
the macaroni and cheese our family ate one year 
and how you still can't get yours to taste like mine.

Which is when I come in,
a visit from my permanent vacation spa
where sparrows dip into the jar
of morning, noon, and night.

Open my mouth to tell you I'm here,
run my voice across your thick hair.
Now it's my turn to miss you.
We sit quiet together.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Black is the Color of Marlon Brando's Motorcycle Jacket

Black is the color of my true love's hair
and Marlon Brando's motorcycle jacket,
each tooth a silver zipper.

Black is the color of roadies
drinking beer down the street
at the Big Dipper.

Black is the color of Johnny Cash
who kept praying for 'Nam
to be over in a flicker.

Black is the color of T-shirts
of high-tech workers
designing glass slippers.

Black is the color of a woman
stoned on a red carpet
because a veil didn't fit her.

Black is the color of people who fade
behind the sidelines of center stage.
Black is the color of our grueling age.

And sorry, I drive a Ferrari.
Bob Dylan (or insert another name)
didn't wear black to the Grammys.
He wore gold.