In the swash zone
a desperate crab somehow overturned,
belly-up. Dome-backed, helpless,
she twitches feet and claws
grasping only air
as seagulls gather, smacking lips.

Shall I intervene?
Who do I favor, crab or gull?
Frankly I have problems with both personalities.

Can’t ignore a creature in distress.
(Who programmed that?)
Wiggle my toes into damp sand beneath the beast.
Flip.
With nary an acknowledgement, crab scuttles
sideways to a spot in the wave wash
where in a flutter of little legs she half-buries herself,
eyeballs above.
Seagulls scream curses.

What did I expect, a thank you?

First published in *Your Daily Poem*

Gave my daughter, age one
who could draw better than walk
a pad of Post-its, the tiny ones.

She crayon scribbled
peeled each one
to hide in corners
behind books
under the toothpaste tube
inside shoes.

A year later, moving out
cleaning up
I find behind
the clothes dryer
a nest woven with
gatherings of moss
dryer lint
lined by her Post-its
stolen by mice
who appreciate
fresh art.

First published in *Your Daily Poem*

The earth wakes us
shaking the bed.
It’s 3:21a.m.

I sit bolt upright,
the dogs growl,
you clutch my arm.
We, naked
in the dark.

To the ears of this old carpenter
the home we built is
sort of moaning
but not in a painful way
more like the way my body feels
when I stretch after
sitting too long.

After a few seconds: silence.
The planet rests.
“Want to check anything?” you ask.
“No,” I say.
So we curl together and go back to sleep:
you, me, dogs, our little house,
forest, mountain, tectonic plates.

No damage
but a reminder of
who owns this place,
payment due some day
and when it comes
I want to be with you.

First published in *Freshwater*

In the store it catches his eye.
The boy asks, “What’s that?”
I answer: “Pocket pie.”
“A what?”
“A pie that fits in your pocket. Want one?”
Of course.
Back home, parked, we stay in the front seat
of the truck. The boy turns the radio on.
Age two and a half, he chooses rock.
I drink a beer. He bites crust, apple goo.
Saturday afternoon, April,
sweet as pie.

First published in *Your Daily Poem*

My blue heron
is actually gray.
And actually
not mine.
She visits,
then vanishes.
On land she carries her feet
floppy as waffles on jointed sticks.
In flight she flaps slowly, folded neck, gliding
just above water, then stands
still as sculpture
toes in mud
until with a sudden cock of head
(can she hear them?)
that swift beak plucks a fish,
lifts, grips like pincers,
points to the sky.
A slight shake of head
to reposition above gullet,
and she swallows
with a smacking of mouth,
a gleam of eye.
She is a beauty.
Sorry, fish.

First published in *Your Daily Poem*

New boy, old shoes,
but he seems to know how.
Girl studies, furrowed brow.
Would you show me?
He grins.
You bet.

Brown girl, white boy
share soccer tricks
(fakes, spin kicks)
like tango steps
on the grassy field.

Lips clenched, Tania pauses
to repair beaded braids.
Tight shorts, mighty thighs,
her body a dark diamond
centered in the hips.

Tony smiles lots, curly red hair,
his head a pumpkin
on a pale post.

Nimble feet
for the ball compete,
their only touch.

After one-on-one,
three laps they run
side by side, chatting, unaware
they are perfectly aligned
in rise and fall of
knee to knee,
right to right,
cleat to cleat,
left to left.

Walking to the street, Tony chats,
Tania listens cradling ball to her chest
as they wander in synchrony,
step to step,
breath to breath,
making a start
heart to heart.

First published in MOON magazine
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