May He support us all the day long, till the shades lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed and the fever of life is over and our work is done. Then in his mercy may He give us a safe lodging and a holy rest and peace at the last.

Cardinal Newman

The one-year anniversary of my mom’s death was this past Saturday. The interlude in the poem occurred a few weeks after she died and lasted only briefly, as my dad went downhill pretty quickly after that. The quote above was on a sympathy card I received. Peace to our s!


A feeling from
out of the blue:

Mom did what
was hers to do

I felt a lovely
buoyancy too

That vanished
as Dad’s needs grew.

a sengsong pot of possibilities

This lump of clay on the wheel—
   Under the thumb of the potter,
Will it become a vase? A cup? 
   An answer begins to take shape.
The wheel hums; the potter hums. 
   Ah…the pleasure of taking pains.

Poem title from chapter 59 of poemcrazy by Susan G. Wooldridge.

“The pleasure of taking pains” is from John Ciardi’s How Does a Poem Mean? and perfectly captures how I feel about writing and revising poems. Peace to your !

bring me magic

1952: 	Sidney Rosenthal’s Magic Marker appears
2003: 	Procter and Gamble’s Magic Eraser appears

1975:	I scrawl my name 
	        On the kitchen wall of shame
	        And try out a few
	        On the guinea pig, too.
	        Like magic, the markers disappear.

Poem title from chapter 31 of poemcrazy by Susan G. Wooldridge.

Of the 60 poems I wrote for my poemcrazy project, this ranks as one of my favorites. Not a true story–I don’t recall ever writing on the wall, and we had hamsters instead of a guinea pig (the first named Tina, and the second named Tina 2, who turned out to be pregnant when we bought her, so we soon had about 7 or 8 baby hamsters we had to give away). Peace to your !

True Story

Not a yarn:
that my Grandma Boos
taught me how
to crochet.
Yarn: the many, many skeins
of my mom’s, now mine,

coasters and afghans
to brighten
others’ days,
tangible love handed down
three generations.

My mom’s acrylic yarn is what I’m using to crochet small afghans for Project Linus, which distributes new handmade blankets to children in need (for example, in hospitals). I’m fortunate that there are Project Linus drop-off boxes in the JOANN fabric stores in my area. For the coasters, I’m using up her 100% cotton yarn, which can take the heat of a hot mug. There’s enough yarn for at least 200 coasters–it brightens my days, too, to be able to give them away. Peace to your !

my sunshine coaster pattern here

Strange Birds

Poets are strange birds,
no wings but what they weave
for themselves out of scraps
of their own and others’ lives
or cobble together from twigs,
leaves and mud paste.

Some hobble. Others falter
in the face of an unrelenting wind.
A blessed few take off in flights
almost too beautiful
for words.

Published in Eye Contact, Spring 2017

Peace to your !

The Last Laugh

known for
such lines as
“I cracked a funny”
and “It’s a long way from my heart.”
Bathroom humor was
a favorite.

found by
my sister
(no joke) slumped over
the portable commode, her heart
having given out
just after

Funny, odd–but also, I think my mom would have gotten a chuckle out of it herself. Peace to our s!