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

Morning routine

finds us dodging each other
bumping almost shoulder to shoulder
stepping over a wet towel 
or bunched up pajamas
if it's a bad morning,
we'll argue
if it's a good morning,
we'll argue a little less
"clean up the toothpaste worms from the sink"
I remind her 
for the hundredth time
"I KNOW!"
she snatches the brush 
before I can get to it
so I plug in the hair dryer instead
I decide to let the exasperation 
and tone roll off
not. worth. it.
I wear my thick-skinned fur coat
24/7
grit my teeth, 
breathe in, 
breathe out
and carry on 
with my morning
"this eye looks good
 but why is this eye 
just NOT working?!"
a white washcloth smudges off
a crooked layer of eyeliner
along with a few tears
she doesn't want me to see
I lean in, mascara wand
trying to make some magic
happen for my own eyes
I don't have time 
to smudge it off
"how? how can you 
put on mascara
without opening your mouth?"
I continue applying my face
she continues applying hers,
sneaking a glance at my 
expertise
with a mascara wand
"I've been doing this longer 
than you've been alive"
she leans in with her own wand
mouth wide open
satisfied,
she steps back 
I look at our reflection
and try not to think
about the days
I braided her hair
in front of this mirror
and she'd want to help
with my makeup
Tuesday, March 29, 2022

A Bubble

wafted toward
me this morning
out of nowhere
empty street
no kids playing
backyards seemed 
bare, still
from where 
did this little 
bubble 
appear
without others trailing 
behind?
one shimmery 
rainbow glistening 
bubble
floating in the air
is it Glinda 
coming to pay me a visit 
grant me some wishes?
promise I won’t cheat
no asking 
for three more 
wishes
but seriously, 
here I am
a grown 
woman
looking 
for Glinda the Good Witch
in her puffy pink 
ball gown 
crowned in her 
sparkling tiara
waving that magic wand 
contemplating 
three hopeful wishes
that floated along
in a single 
bubble
until somewhere 
it popped
Thursday, March 24, 2022

Beating the Sunday Blues

Sunday, March 20, 2022
It's spring today 
Had to double check  
A brightening sun teases me 
through the window 
as I write  
It's still cold outside, 
but it doesn't have 
winter's bite
I'm cutting short 
my morning puttering  
Got a lot done yesterday 
so I could enjoy the whole
of today  
I typically get the Sunday blues 
on Saturday night 
lamenting a long list of 
Still Needs To Get Done Before Monday  
Back to work Monday  
A back to work 
rain in the forecast
Monday
Today,
I'm going out 
to play
with a spring 
in my step
a taste for 
the end of May

Two Minutes Ago

The 'tween is helping with dinner
burgers
Hubster is cooking
I'm playing with a craft project
Clean-up is mine for tonight
A chunk of lettuce flies from
'tween's  hands
and the discussion quickly goes to
the three second rule
"I didn't see that"
I say,
"It's okay," 'tween says
"the wet pieces may or may not 
have been on the floor,
it's not like someone's feet were there
and we don't talk about Bruno..."
Noooo! not that song again!
I've had some bubbly today,
I don't care
dinner is cooked
it's spring break
I had friend time this afternoon
I'll skip the lettuce 
It's still spring break
and I'm trying not to care
too much
Life goes on
with or without lettuce
on a burger
Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Glass Half Empty?

Sunday, March 13, 2022

What’s in the glass?

Milk, half full

Margarita, half empty

Coca-Cola, half full

Any kind of diet drink, half full

Coffee, half empty

Sangria, half empty

Ask a teen, “I don’t know.”

Ask a toddler, they spilled the glass

Ask a teacher, too full, no time for a bathroom break