Sunset at the Lake

Setting sun
Beyond the lake
Beyond the trees

White hot sphere
Sends a shining path
Across the water

Illuminates the flag
Waving proudly
On the other side

A golden halo
Spreads an orange glow
Into the sky above

Beyond the lake
Beyond the trees
Setting sun
Photo by BAH, my sister-in-law

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The plate fell from her hands
She cried out
But she could not catch it

The plate crashed to the ground
She watched it
As it broke in pieces

She gathered the fragments
Her tears fell
The plate was special to her

She took it to an expert
She envisioned it
Being made whole again

Time passed as she waited
She picked it up
She looked at it in awe

The plate was round again
But not the same
The breaks still visible

The master had repaired it
She smiled to see
The glue held sparks of gold

The broken places shone
Pieces held together
Beauty and usefulness restored

Another poem inspired by Afterlife, a book by Julia Alvarez.

1st Draft

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A Found Poem

from Afterlife by Julia Alvarez

She cannot comprehend
how someone she loved
can be nothing but dust

A new life awaiting her

Walking a narrow path
through the loss
Taking sips of sorrow

Wake up empty and frightened
Contain the damage
Keep breathing

Who now to champion her?

Silence is all she gets
Unsettled, irritated with him
for leaving her alone

Come back and help me
The world is a crazy place

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Up and Down

I’m up
I’m down
Mind whirling ‘round and ‘round.

Will we go back?
Will we go online?

Twenty desks in a room?!
A new LMS to learn?!

Mask breaks? What?!
Back to the grading scale?!

I’m up
I’m down
Mind whirling ‘round and ‘round

Back to school used to be
So much more fun!

After a lot of debate, plans made and then changed, my district will be online, with limited in-person services, until at least October 2. Not a perfect plan, but the safest for our city, which was named a coronavirus hotspot.

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When it seems darkness
May defeat you
Keep moving forward

Unexpectedly the light
May shine on you…

Photo by BAH, my sister-in-law

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Be Well, My Friend

We met on the sidewalk
In Panama City
(Panama, not Florida!)
Army wife, Marine wife
Both mommas too nervous to
Let our kiddos go to the bus stop

Exploring that new city, that country
Finding so much in common
New friends, lifelong friends
(Then and now)
Wherever we are
Our hearts still meet

I’m praying for my dear friend and a good outcome tomorrow as she undergoes surgery to receive a new pacemaker. I can’t be with her, but my heart is there.

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The Light of Evening

The light of evening
takes me back

The light of evening
on the neighborhood houses
takes me back

The light of evening
on the neighborhood houses
takes me back
to the light of evening
on the buildings of the city

The light of evening
on the buildings of the city
glowed then
and gave me hope
when despair came calling

The light of evening
on the neighborhood houses
takes me back

The light of evening
takes me back
to hope

It has been two decades since I lived on the tenth floor of an apartment building in Lima, Peru. My husband was fighting cancer. Often, in the evening, I would stand at the window, as the glow of the sun lit the buildings of the city. It was the time I wrestled with fear…and despair…and chose hope. Through all the years between then and now, since the death of my husband, through other losses, that light, that time as the day comes to an end,  is still for me a time to ponder, to search again for hope. Sometimes I feel tears gathering, my throat tightening…but I still find hope.

In this time of death and loss in the pandemic, this time of injustice and crying out for justice…fear, grief, despair- all are real. Still, hope remains. Tonight, the evening light glowed.



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One Is Not Like The Other

Two birds perch on the peak of the roof
One ruffled and plump
The other sleek and and skinny
They stand apart
Together they sing
Together they claim
a place in the world

And then each flies
In its own direction

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What’s Making You Smile?

These are serious days, but there are still things that make us smile. Here are a few of mine:

•my friend brought chicken soup from our favorite Mexican restaurant

•another friend brought a loaf of cinnamon bread so fresh from her oven it was still warm

•after taking part in Zoom staff meeting, the Saturday Night Live skit had me laughing out loud it was so true to life

•I invited students to write poems, and here are a few lines they sent in:
*I bought a lion 🦁
that was Hawaiian
*I have a pet dog 🐶
I take it out to see the fog
*Up in the sky
I saw a dinosaur fly 🦕
*I have a dog
That looks like a frog 🐸

•the sun came out today!

Look for the things that make you smile!

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Little Voice

In a little voice
She says, “I’m OK…”

But I wonder…

It’s such a little voice…

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