All in a Day’s Work

[a poem for my dear Mark…]

A sweet greeting card complete with a squirrel
Makes me feel like I might be a really loved girl
Then I walk through the door after work to find
He’s busy cooking dinner for the kids, so kind!

Though it rains cats and dogs, his work is not done
No, in fact, he’s really just begun
To replace the broken side mirror of my car.
I’ll travel with him forever, no matter how far.

I think Mark's in love with a goose....

I think Mark’s in love with a goose….

When It Rains, It Pours

What a week! Can I get an Amen?
God, you are never surprised when
These tragedies happen.

We lost so much in a few days
What my Mama says
When it rains, it pours

Families have lost blood, charred
Lives make us pray hard.
Always try to be on guard.

And I’ve got a lake in my backyard…

Newly created Lake Cramer with thin morning ice.

Newly created Lake Cramer with thin morning ice.

Up the Avenues and Down (Part Two)

A Gold Star Banner in the window stopped me dead in my tracks.
The family of Army Sgt. Joshua W. Harris never forgot his face
Killed in action September 17, 2008 in Gerdia Seria, Afghanistan
His vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device
Only twenty one years old, so young, so brave
So gone … along with three others

Another time, another place, another IED
Hearts and lives and families ripped to shreds
Boston Marathon on Patriot’s Day 2013
A day to celebrate those who fought for America’s freedom
A day to remember those who have died in the name of freedom
Can justice run up the avenues and down?

red stuff of life ended

Remember those whom we have lost to the ages.

Up the Avenues and Down (Part One)

With great gusto, I begun to run, ’til my shins, heart and lungs gave out
Huffing and puffing, I told myself “We’ll just walk now” and did that
Better to see the homes, the birds, the flowers, the budding trees, yes
All of that running, people miss out on the best things in life, don’t they?

With great gusto, I strolled and listened and looked around at the sights
My silver head pivoting around and around, not to miss a single thing
Like a bobble head toy, nodding and glancing, ever moving along and
Up the avenues and down, discovering daffodils, robins, worms

green stuff of new life

green stuff of life

green stuff of new life

(This was written the morning of the Boston Marathon, before the tragedy.)

Honestly Dad

Remaining parent,
for fifty years I was your daughter
Before you remembered me.

I adored you from my first moment
Pictures of me gazing into your hazelnut eyes,
My baby blues crinkled all smiles

when you walked into the room

Honestly Dad
You needed your newspaper, I needed my daddy.
Did you really have to toss me out of your easy chair?

You taught me to ride my first bike.
You took off just one of the training wheels.
I crashed into the rose bush.

Remember when we went to the Father/Daughter Dance?
The year was 1967
I was a ten-year old in a lime green mini dress.

We didn’t dance but we were together.
That was really nice.
The most handsome daddy in the world.

Remember when we went to buy my first car?
1971 Ford Maverick three on the tree.
I had never driven a manual transmission before.

You pointed the car up the hill, such a challenge
Trying to time it all perfectly to impress you with my driving skills.
It worked so much better when we turned the car around.

Honestly Dad

I wanted to follow in your successful footsteps
If I was a state forester like you, we’d have so much to talk about
“That’s a poor career choice for women” was your reply.

Remember when I tried to be a model in the big city?
I sent you a glossy black and white photo of ME
Eight and a half by eleven, all framed up

The glass was shattered in transit from Chicago to northern Minnesota
My life and my heart broken in pieces 1984
I think you got to see what I looked like anyway.

You walked me down the aisle and gave me away two times
The third time you couldn’t make it to the wedding
And that’s OK.

Thirty years since I left home
You never called me
You quickly passed the phone to Mom when I called

Now you call me every week
Honestly Dad
Why did it take Mom’s passing for you to remember me?


Ode to My Sump Pump

We’ve traveled far down many a mucky road
You’ve been there for me, dear, carrying the heavy load
Step by step, hand in hand, for better, for worse
We often sing the chorus, forget to sing the verse

Oft I’ve wondered on our journeys near and far
Sump, dear pump, how did you get that scar?
You work so hard, your ever frequent pumping
Sucking water from the sump and ever dumping

Your labor continues through the deepest night
The rains, the showers, the streaming, the sight
Of water in my basement, you know my darkest fright
I love your ever vigilant care, oh sump pump hold me tight.

sump pump 2

I Visited a Chicago Public School Today

Thirteen Statues

I found a flock of hardy souls
So stately near a school
I read their names, admired their goals
I wondered about their rule







The presidents, the warriors
All claiming to love the masses
The heroes brave crossing barriers
The Spanish children in their classes

Benito Juarez Academy
A Chicago Public School
Return to a state of normality
Secure in your vestibule

The teens I met in classrooms so full
Polite and friendly and proud
Beautiful hope for the future, they pull
My heart from the statue crowd

Mother Goose Bids a Fine Farewell to Fear

Valediction to Fear

Yes, you had your arms holding me tight for so many years,
But now it’s time to say “goodbye”.
For most of my life, you whispered in my ear that you loved me and had my best interest in mind;
Now I know you lied.

Fear, you held me close and reminded me that I could not drive long distances.
You told me that expressways are too fast and too dangerous.
What if I had an accident? What if I got a ticket? What if I got lost? What if I got a migraine headache? What if MS suddenly flared up and I got weakness in my limbs?

You warned me about job interviews and the stress of even considering employment.
With great tenderness, you consoled me,
“There’s no need for you to work. Don’t worry about it. You’re actually happier and very fulfilled staying at home with the kids every single day.”

You whispered, “If you really try hard and fail, you will be such a disappointment. You have tried and failed before, remember?”

Might cause anxiety
Might send me into a state of depression
Might make me feel insecure
Might make me feel inferior
Might upset others
Might disappoint my mother

Fear, you never cared for me. You held me close, but you hated me.

Goodbye, Fear.

Good riddance.

I am Fearless.


Please Help Yourself to One of my Cinquains

Friday night at Joe’s on Weed Street

A goose
Trying to dance
In her blue dress at Joe’s
Young country chicks steal her thunder
Too old.

Good times at Joe's Bar on Weed Street, Chicago.  Mother Goose is not in this picture...

Good times at Joe’s Bar on Weed Street, Chicago. Mother Goose is not in this picture…

Spring Poses a Question

How does it happen?

Out of nowhere
Out of the cold, hard ground
Out of woodchips
Out of winter
Out of sight
Out of mind
Out of death

Flowers happen.
Spring happens.
Love happens.
New life happens.

We didn’t have to do a darn thing.
Could there possibly be a spiritual connection?

Woodchips and daffies

Woodchips and daffies



Purply crocuses.  Or crocusi.

Purply crocus.

Golden crosusi.  Or crosuses.

Golden crosusi. Or crosuses.

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March 2023