Address Book

I still have it
my first adult address book
brown leather binder
purchased with my Hallmark
discount

It started out small
including my family's
addresses memorized,
but initiating the space nonetheless
Will I ever fill this up?

All of the aunts and uncles,
grandparents
college friends
work friends
a work mom, two, three

Inked in print,
building my own network
I'd have a stack 
of Christmas cards to send
Each year, I take it out
and start writing notes
a book or two of stamps waiting to 
send greetings
on a little trip across Texas,
mostly Texas, but other states too

I start with the A and go down
each name
lost touch with that one
last year's card was returned
where is she now?

After a few years,
I draw an x through those names 
that moved on
but were not forgotten,
remembering the good times,
wondering of current whereabouts

It's easier to draw an x over 
those who moved 
still there, 
but picking up to a new place
normal for post-college friends trying
to figure things out
going on fun adventures
accepting new jobs
getting married

Siblings got their own sections
as they left the nest,
Never expecting to re-write my parents'
address
twice, 
after two moves 
from what I 
considered
home

I've added more friends
but as years have passed,
I've had to mark out a name
here and there
permanently
mail doesn't go where they are

Sara, my grandma, has an invisible 
permanent X over her little maroon
housed address
I can't bring myself to 
mark 
her 
out
of my address book
Tuesday, December 6, 2022

thingie

I’ve resorted to describing

important words with…

thingie

I can’t even fall back on thingamajig

doo-hickey

whatchamacalit

that

thing

it’s a thingie

that thingie over there, I need it

can you get it for me, please?

sure!

I know exactly what you meant

that thingie

of a brain

that’s so overloaded

it forgets basic

thingies

Tuesday, October 3, 2022

CincuentaƱera

A week later
streamers hang on the patio
vibrant, yet tired
a trampoline hasn't been reassembled
and probably won't return
to its spot in the backyard

She's thirteen now 
we've long stopped 
synchronized 
wahoo-wahoo-wahoozie
mother-daughter bouncing
of summers long past,
my hands intertwined 
with her silly little 
first grader fingers

Gifted wine bottles line up 
one behind the other
I sip from a new coffee mug
and finish the last two
homemade Mexican wedding cookies
baked for a birthday

A lone striped gift bag didn't get folded,
hot pink crumpled paper 
peeks from the top

A new sparkly evening bag invites
possibilities and wonderings about
unknown adventures
How many more trips around the sun?
Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Cicadas

drone off and on
off and on
their outer selves hold
tight to a blade of grass
tree trunk
iris leaves we don't remember planting
the front door frame
under the porch
as if they've been invited
they were time tellers 
before I could read time
signaling a long hot day
hanging back on my favorite swing
long hair dangling in the dirt
rocking myself into a bright summer haze
eyes closed
big toe digging into the ground
giving myself a little push
nothing to do inside
nothing to do outside
too hot
too boring
all I could do was swing
back and forth
back and forth
if I were a cicada
I'd sing with them
droning off and on
off and on
complaining about the heat
the sun
summer
almost wishing for cooler weather 
then realizing 
I'd have to stop swinging
I leave the shell of my former self
on the swing
pull myself up and head indoors
for a drink of water
the cicadas continue their songs
reminding us 
this summer heat 
is temporary
Tuesday, July 12, 2022


	

Psst…

Mrs. Garza!
he whisper-yells
hand raised, 
tests await commands to start

You got a baby trash can?

Trash can? I moved it 
to the front
hand sanitizer
box of tissues
bathroom sign-out sheet

He mumbles, looks around
making sure no one hears
or at least he tries

I walk to his desk

You got a baby trash can?
a little tiny trash can?
You see, I got sunflower seeds
eat em when I'm bored
I don't wanna 
put em all over the table, 
you know...

Yeah, I know,
spit

I get it 
I eat them on long road trips
so I don't fall asleep 
while I'm driving

Testing binder in hand
I walk to my office
looking over my shoulder 
letting everyone know 
I'm sort of watching

Yank, yank, yank, yank

Use paper towels
that's all I've got
take a bathroom break
if you need more

Psst...
Mrs. Garza
thank you

He sets his desk
as if breaking bread
computer plugged in-
he forgot to charge it
a bag of sunflower seeds
slouches agains the testing divider
paper towels stacked and ready
pencil
scratch paper
testing ticket

Today you'll be taking...

Crack!
He snaps the first seed
Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Stopping

for a break is valuable 
but when you stop
what do you do?
does the mind wander too much?
why is it hard to refocus?
start again,
build momentum
why stop?
is it to observe?
try something new?
look for something, or
let something find you?
rather than restarting, 
it's time to 
continue 
this thing that 
sustains and
feeds me,
consider words 
that want to be said,
that need saying
was the stopping meant
for listening?
how do you 
bring everything together?
Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Raspberries

tart and sweet
flavor and stain
a round mound 
of crushed ice
packed into
a paper cone
on a 
hot 
summer 
day

macerated,
fill and sweeten
a layer between
white wedding cakes,
the top tier saved for
that first year 
anniversary
shared 
two weeks later
after the honeymoon
because it was 
so 
darn 
good
why save it?

two fresh ones
kerplunk!
into a sink full
of dirty 
dishwater
escaping the 
dysfunctional 
sieve of a 
hand
while another plops
their neighbors
into 
a 
waiting 
mouth
Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Slices

of oranges 
sprinkled with salt
sticky sweet juice 
dribbling
down 
a 
chin

of memories
well lived
some 
uneventful
bursting with simplicity
some saved
for savoring
later
when the mood strikes

of time
held on an analog
clock 
holding still
in good times
or bad
placeholders
for stealing moments
to write
contemplate
create

of stories 
interwoven 
across miles
initiating laughter
provoking 
thoughts 
ideas
resonating with souls
unleashing frustration
distraction
confusion
affirming realities 
and struggles
inspiring hope
and kindness
through shared
Words
Thursday, March 31, 2022