Eyeglasses and Jazz Shoes

That’s what it feels like: I can’t find
enough dental floss for a dream of
jigsaw puzzles, and the raft of paper
won’t keep me afloat until I find all
my dollar bills. I have to return

eyeglasses and jazz shoes, send
a collection of bow ties. These
are days when someone wants
to take pictures of my children
and then, if I pay more, remove

my children’s imperfections
and write their names on them
(the pictures) so I don’t forget
who they are, the one who
looked like a rubber alien and

the other one who looked like
a kitten or my father. Sometimes
I forget the song while I’m still
singing it. Sometimes, you know,
I need all the help I can get.


In the Circle

In the circle of my arms, you grew
like a police chief made of bark.
When the curtains blow open,
will you be there still?
In the circle
of leaves, you blew on your fingertips,
said the weather would be changing
soon, you’d best be on your way.
I cried like a hobo, to release you.
Every morning now, I wonder if this
will be the day my hands fall off.


You Can’t Win if You Don’t Enter: Goodreads Giveaway for Secret Rivers


Hi, everyone … Just wanted to mention that I’m now an official Goodreads Author and have listed a giveaway in which 10 lucky winners will each receive a free copy of Secret Rivers. (What’s Secret Rivers? You’re joking, right? But here’s some information about it.)

So far, 62 people have entered to win a copy, which I find a little staggering — but which you shouldn’t let dissuade you from entering. I’m not sure how they choose the lucky winners, but I don’t think it’s according to who got there first.

You’re all winners in my book … But I hope you’re on the list they send me when the giveaway ends on October 31. Good luck!


Everything Passing

When I felt wings growing under my skin,
I fed myself another snow cone. I made
an architecture of summer clouds and
paper. In this scaffold, I turned into
a Valkyrie. Someday, I will shriek

forbidden words about claw machines
and bumper cars, horses seen from
car windows, the inevitability of fall,
everything passing, passing like
my old, soft, sun-loving self.



Whatever else happened between the leaves
or in the hammock, Louise was not about
to stick around to find out. Norman told her
to come for a walk, so that’s what she did,
meeting him in the shade of the hornbeam
tree, admiring its catkins. She always liked it
when a man knew trees: Not just, Meet me
under that big, round shade tree
, but
Meet me under the hornbeam. Maybe
Meet me under the hornbeam, Dear
would be better. But there was time
enough for that, she thought, more than
enough evenings left in June, More
than enough Junes left for all that