Our family

Our family

Thursday, September 29, 2011



I was never one of 'The Ashleys',
painting lips pink,
squealing "scandelous"
dwelling in an underground clubhouse.
Mother must have known
what I wouldn't be.

"Code X," the boys taunted
good for one thing:
securing tire swings with my contagion.
"Thompson," "Mormon," spat
like explatives along with
chewed food.
The hard ground came faster with thick glasses on.
Mother never knew
until Brandi Werner.
That Tiara didnt see the ground coming.
The fist of a whimpy kid?
The fist of Elizzzabeth
buzzing like a bee, a roar
a red head,
like my Grandmother,
and Queens, and Saints.

Brass, crass, crash little kid
growing into class, Elizabethan.
Slow and painful, as nine long letters
stretched and skewed
over twenty childish nicknames
until she fit me
like a glove: Elisheba, Consecrated
Oath to God.
I am all that mother knew
as she pronounced the  Ashley silent.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Walking away,
putting you from my mind
          a shoebox of letters
Shovel. Backyard.
Crisis averted.

Walking away,
putting you from my mind...
         an old sweater
Applebox. Lid. Shovel. Backyard

Walking away,
putting you from my mind...
        the black guitar
Hammer. Saw. Potatoe box. Shovel. Backyard

Walking away
putting you from my mind...
        memories that itch
Casket. Measruing tape. Six feet. Shovel. Backyard

Tree Hugger

A climbing tree,
with limbs outstreched to grasp me in a hug
hear my secrets on the wind
braid my hair with ribbon leaves
and dance and play and leave
leave my work beside her roots
upon the earth

I scramble up
on lower branches
the child in school or playschool now
where lunchtime is a forest of friendly trees

Until I hug up,scramble higher
mid sized limbs
and I a youth
who kisses on these branches, or dreams of kisses,
and waiting reads a book
before reaching higher
I hug up.

Hug up higher, highest limbs
where secrets spill like special water,
safe, swallowed tears by shoots and braches
woes a mother dares not mention
When I've worn all the shoes,
sunk all the ships,
forgotten the wax and burnt the cabbage
commited crimes against the King.
I, a child of twenty-three
caught in a middle aged nightmare
in school still, but not to play
in love still, but with my child
hugging still the aunt whose branches
wait for me to leave my work
amongst her roots
until Im planted
grounded in my own rich earth.