Not Yet 3


Not Yet 3

In the haunted jewelry box 

where the wedding gift necklace 

of trinity gold 

from my loving groom 

once hung sentimentally

from its top gold door hook 

cherished as a loving memory

worn to remember, to celebrate

the day we wed

there is a story 

that cannot yet be told 

Not Yet 2

Not Yet 2 

In the haunted jewelry box

where the diamond tennis bracelet

with the extra security clasp 

(an ironic twist of a feature 

in so many ways) 

once lay beautifully in its

pillowy pink velvet section 

to be given to our only granddaughter 

on her wedding day 

there is a story to tell

that cannot yet be told 

Not yet


Not Yet

In the haunted jewelry box

where the Gold nugget necklace

from a trip to Alaska 

once hung on a hook 

to be given to the daughter

who in fifth grade took that trip

when her dad bought the 

sparkling chunk for me 

before our divorce her senior year

there is a story to tell 

that cannot yet be told

Thumb-cutting Butterflies


Thumb-cutting Butterflies 

not a good idea

thumb-cutting butterflies 

on panty waistlines

Jessica Simpson

needs to redesign these things ~

*downright dangerous*

have girls told doctors

“I pulled up my panties and

that’s how this happened?”

I ask because I 

need inside left thumb stitches~ 

but too embarrassed! 




she wasn’t sober 

enough to go through detox 

to start her journey 

to a better life

so she’ll  try again today 

each moment a step 

The Steal


The Steal 

she was a collector

of things

married to a 

collector of things 

and knew values 

she’d known strategy

for rushing in

to an antique sale when

the doors opened ~

he went left, she right

like Black Friday 

shoppers rushing

for a golden egg  

stories upon stories 

of wheel-and-deal steals:

“I got it!” she’d said

about that golden glass lantern

that never 

actually got wired 

to the house

“You should have seen

her,” Dad said, smiling

with that amusing pride

that even preacher husbands 

have for their wives

when they act a little

bit badass, 

“when she cherry-picked

the first edition books

blocking a nemesis 

shopper with a lead glass 

bookcase door” 

“I got ‘em!” she’d announced

across the crowded room 

so in her golden years 

when she got sick

and lost her mind 

she didn’t lose her

prowess ~

it remained her 


modus operandi 

even at Christmas 

when Dad held his own

version of a novelty

white elephant gift swap

for the family to ‘fight” over

the out-of-circulation

Golden Isles of Georgia 

jigsaw puzzle or a scarf

from China while 

avoiding the duds

like that animal 

balloon twisting kit

for beginners

he brought out an eclectic assortment

of wrapped novelties 

from their home museum 

and set them around the tree

like pre-passing

inheritances ~ 

gold in the hands of

anyone lucky enough 

to own them 

my son’s new wife

one of those unassuming

natural beauties 

who has never figured

out how gorgeous she is

inside and out

unwrapped the puzzle

everyone secretly coveted –

an exact replica of the same 

boxed edition 

I’d unwrapped a year ago

and put together 

piece by piece 

with the family 

I’d treasured the experience 

with so many hands together

in what I knew would be 

mom’s remaining time 

that I’d glued and framed it 

as if it were one big group hug

forever preserved in time 

and as we all rode the wave

of Christmas joy 

that the puzzle

had landed right where we’d hoped,


in her greatest-ever steal of the day

invoked the first-opener option

to swap her gift

she rose from her chair

and in a final twist 

of a wheel-and-deal steal 

exchanged her balloon kit

for the puzzle 

as the air left the room 

and a roomful of teary eyes 

found the floor 

“I got it!” she triumphed,

turning slowly back to her chair,

puzzle raised feebly in the hand

of a weak, shaking arm 

Time to Rise


Time to Rise

Tucked in our bedsheets

Weighted blanket keeps us warm

Heavy rain outdoors

Let us stay in bed! 

It’s too cold to go to work 

Let’s sleep in instead…..

Family Peace in a Peppermint Shake


Family Peace in a Peppermint Shake 

We can’t decide where to go

for dinner, again,

but with Krystal the looming threat

we need hope. 

We actually need a lot more than

hope, to be truthful. 

We need peace. 

The matriarch died in February

after a yearlong battle with 

brain cancer 

so the sons take their dad

for Tuesday night dinner 

every week. 

But their sister will not be there – 

the one who

who took control of decisions 

and didn’t understand they could not

quit their jobs to do all she did

and wanted comfort measures 

for a mother who wailed in pain 

every day in her corner chair 

the one who stopped our food offerings, more worried about diabetes in the midst of stage 4 

than the love in a bowl

the one who still refused Hospice 

long after it was 

so desperately needed 

and the stone cold silence began

then the fracture was out on display 

like a shattered crystal goblet

as family clusters stood in

different corners at visitation 

dishonoring all she stood for

making a mockery of her servant spirit 

and then came the uninvite 

persuaded by this sister 

from the wedding

of her son – a nephew these uncles 

had loved all his life

a final earthshaking door slam 

and deadbolt as 

Pat’s children – her family- 

were cut off, cut out, done 

and the legacy of a mother who’d

loved each of her children

seared into ashes 

are there tears in Heaven?

is there peace for a father 

whose heart is torn apart with

these choices 

that led to separate meals

even on holidays? 

Tonight, maybe –

maybe peace will be found 

in conversations, laughter, 

stories of fun family memories

around a table in a Chick-fil-A, 

in all the little smashed pieces of 

chocolate covered candy cane  

at the bottom 

of a peppermint shake

No-Write Zone


No-Write Zone

Early morning no-write zone 

One flanking my shoulders like a fringed white warming shawl 

One wedged between my hip and the chair arm like a taco sprouting a scratch-begging paw 

One throwing his head back, nose to ceiling, barking “arooo-arooo” (throw, throw the ball, Mom) until I do 

Early morning no-write zone 

Christmas Centerpiece


Christmas Centerpiece Haiku 

Christmas centerpiece

Beatrice, Patrice, Sally

angels Ansley named 

Stand facing outward

in a back-to-back circle 

gracing our table

Hold heart, harp, her hands

Heavenly haloish hair 

Heralding Him: Hark! 

Purchased at Pier 1

2004ish, perhaps?

Hilton Head Island 

Chocolate Sally

Blueberry blue Beatrice 

Vanilla Patrice 

But the best part is

Hearing Ansley say their names

Every Christmas