1205 Somewhere Street
Another former beauty queen,
Orphaned in her prime,
Waits dressed in her daytime best.
Sunshine through the transom
Casts no memory.
Waved watercolored glass protects her secrets.
Standing outside, we can only imagine her story.
Power of a Photograph
A form of visual poetry –
In an unrehearsed dance between black and white.
If you can listen with your eyes,
The story hides in the shadows.
Where tricks of light
Make the obvious invisible,
Give substance to memory,
And place time in the palm of your hand.
Bibliophile or The Book Lover
For too long I searched
In books with worn bindings half-hidden on dusty shelves
Or in bold-faced bestsellers
For answers from more experienced lives
To the questions
As if they have an internal calendar.
Unwilling to admit to possessing the opportunity
To fit my pieces
To write a life
Where self-knowledge is just a plot twist away
And becoming the heroine is less frightening.
An invitation to play
Unearthed in an antiques shop
Glass vials glow
In an array of rainbows
Musty albums lean
As unwrapped gifts
Where the confetti of nameless portraits
Spills off their pages
Emptied china teapots
Witnesses to everyday dramas
Reveal not a word
But huddle together for warmth
While lackluster souvenirs of distant places
Keep company with worn luggage and postcards
Their journeys tightly bound
To prevent escape.
This photo is a collage of a painting in an antique shop of a young woman that was dated 1957 and a photo of a dress form and frame in another antiques shop.They make me wonder who she turned out to be and if she became herself.The poem that follows “Appropriately Frayed ” is not an ode to myself but to women who accept who they’ve become.
More comfortable in my own skin,
Fitting the place I’ve earned
Where loosened threads allow room to breathe.
My unbound pages
Can dance in the breeze.
A few worn spots – wrinkled, dog-licked
Add a layer of interest.
While my eyes still seek
the unexpected and untried.
Valuing the questions more than the answers.
Roseate petticoats swirl in pleasure
Practicing a familiar ballet of
Pirouettes, jetes,and arabesques.
Pink and pearl blossoms
Spent silken petals
Spread their kimono
Over newly green grass.
Silently , hoping not to awaken summer.
Wrapped in tissue paper memories
Grandma’s dancing shoes
Napped on the top shelf of her closet.
The silk slippers with pearl buttons,
Remnants of another life,
No longer fit her knobbed feet
and twisted toes.
On laundry days,
Trapped in mid-flight with their tails dangling,
Competed with the zinnias for attention.
While her house dresses,
gay paper lanterns fluttering in the breeze,
made the garden ready for a party.
When the washing was hung,
Grandma danced barefoot
on the grass.
Ready Made Ancestors
Nameless faces creased on cardboard
Stare up at me from a scarred metal box.
Stopping to make their acquaintance,
I gently dust them off
And begin to imagine lives
For the brothers half-disguised by sweeping moustaches,
For the girl whose teasing eyes don’t fit her straight -lined mouth,
For the tiny sailor who hasn’t yet tasted the ocean,
And for the stern-shawled matriarch who has seen too much.
The reunion interrupted,
They take joy in making me guess,
But give nothing away.
Unable to explain
How they came to be abandoned
Into a company of strangers.
Yet, silently offering a past
To those willing to adopt them.
Turning onto a side road
Demoted by the interstate
Into a memory,
A lonely house holds its breath.
Dressed in rusted metal lace
And silvered siding,
Its parched paint wrinkles
Soften in the late afternoon sun.
Drunken doors whisper invitations.
As porches sagging from the weight
Of remembered footsteps,
Discourage casual visitors.
Ambitious vines strangle columns and posts
While roses cavort shamelessly.
The laboring sound of wasps and wood bees
Muffles its pleas for rescue.