I was afraid he’d stop breathing

During his impossible naps

I was afraid he’d fall and bleed

When he started walking too soon

I was afraid his own cells

Wouldn’t stop attacking his body

I look at him now

And see

This beautiful, peaceful, happy

White son

Barely beyond a decade

Full of joy

But sometimes,

I look at his crumpled face

And see

his anger

Will someone be afraid of him someday?

I’ve been hurt by white men





Never with such devastation

Will my son

Who looks like killers

Be someone who hurts?

How do I stop?

What do I say?

How can I discipline?

When step away?

Will I be afraid of him?

The boy I loved the

Moment he formed

Before any of him


And then we formed him

Or tried

What if

I’m afraid


Trying to create in chaos

Aching to break the pencil when

The words are sharper than any leaden tip

Staring at beauty and not able to reach

Out a finger because the

Air transference of my ugly

Will drain the color from the sea

Imagining myself a witch of the water

As if my powers of dark were so


As if tides bowed to my


By absence I create

Watching massacres a wave away

Caught myself

Take away

Save myself

What’s left

Drug to shore

Lost creation


Sometimes I have to step away from those I love to follow what I love.

Shook off the attachments of cellular and developed family.

Crawled out of my own skin to fill another body, to speak other words, to feel another pain.

Seems absurd and unreasonable and false.

Sometimes I follow my heart even when I know I breaks others and I shouldn’t even bother to begin crafting the apology.

Because I’d make the choice again.

Sometimes my own words aren’t enough and I have to rely on the kindness of strangers.

It’s a kindness to be able to walk amongst other dreamers for a while and to build beautiful castles from wishes and poetry.

Among the things I left behind were my own words. I stranded my characters on a back road in Virginia, gasping for breath and driving hell for leather.

My son is next to me and I’m in love to be there.

But my book, my Jack and his cronies, they need me back and I’m anxious to talk to them again.

Forest For

Never so acutely focused

While so helplessly detached

House built within my room

Without me hearing a single

Hammer blow

Only think to look up

When I stop looking down

The nail in my own foot

Through and through

Pointing to the new ceiling

So encompassed

By my own pain

I don’t see the art

He made

Work of children


For the play of adults

Not managing tears

Real or forced

The stakes are too high

Serves me right

Should sweat

Streak across the floor

Hope the skin catches

Pinches in the grain

Remember the trees

Cut down with my axe

The next time I

Curse the sun


Beg for shade

And burn


Such things as purple, bruised sunsets

Shared with the happiest of proclamations

If I knew you, I would already know

But I don’t

I daren’t

A step outside to see, in wonder

A foot, a hand, and neck closer

To the fall

None to fault if there wasn’t a push

But a hunt for protection

Defend against recrimination

Regrets as evidence


I daren’t

Bible is crumbled and faded

Can’t hear the good news

Over the banshee’s scream

But at least the deserted howl is familiar

Nothing left but desire

Smashed in place

Like a broken bottle

Clean up the pieces

Only your own soles to slash

Everyone gone but


No worse for wear

Kindness of strange

Comfort of packing

Leaving keys behind

I daren’t


Best to leave the stage

In the uncovered dark


-for Tennessee

Union Jack

Union Jack

Straight lines

Crisp crosses

Bows a frown

When it sees me

A distant daughter

Opposite of austere

With constant

Tears threatening

Like a thunderstorm

Over Westminster






The changing of the


Upper lip so drooped

Its thinness a gift finally

Less weight to drag

A smoother slide for

Snot from crying noses

A dissociated joker

Of self-depreciation

Waiting to be stopped

At the gate

An ancestral Welsh mother

Fingers her own hankerchief

Embarrassed for me

I want to revolt

Throw taxations

Into the sea

And be free

But I can’t

Jumping in the

Sea before

I change sides

Even understanding the


Of reconciliation

I can’t see past

My own



Cutting Ties


What does not thread

into the blanket or hat

stays in the circle

Shrinking cylinder

What is too frayed 

for the mittens

is cut to the floor

Twine together and

it can always be torn later

Unless it’s beyond repair

Lengths of inches

will never hold warmth

Pile of wool

Choices left behind

Trim with seeing

don’t look back

you have a singular

option for winter

Hold blades without 


and no uninterrupted skein

will ever stop your chill

No encouragement 

from the objects at hand

No applause for bravery

after this creation performance

No time enough 

to knit a noose

and avoid deciding


which is still 

a way of 

shredding the line

Cradle liner or

an old woman’s shawl

How can there be 

bulk enough for both?

Cut ties

Only one 

world to create

The left scraps 

to forget