Drowned World

The home movies do not have too much plot, they are more about time

Time spent with beautiful children

Mostly grown up now

We all know how close we were

To the flood


Every day I walk through cold water

First there was the shock-shock, which I would describe as a blanket of cotton, a fog, a zoned-out staggering thing. I am not sure how long this stage lasted, but it began to ebb when the nice women at the crisis center gave my five year old and her sisters their crime-victim quilts, hand-made, with such kindness.

The quilts underlined the permanent nature of the gift–beautiful crime victims. Undoable. Irrevocable.

Our story seemed one way for years, then just as things got safer because we knew and could protect them

The truth rolled over us, applying permanent tattoos everywhere.

I did not realize I had a thrill-seeker, risk-taker issue until the months of hunger, tears, and fighting were over…all technically either lost or a draw. Until after I wrote the book. Until after people began to disappear.

By then I had begun to walk through cold water.

Now I know why I do it. I do it because…I do it because

Because when I walk in cold water I can see you there

Through the dust

The crush of angry humans

The agony of your bedraggled well-wishers.

Your own pain indelible on your bloodied face

Dying for me


In cold water.

Jennifer the Beautiful

I miss you girl

Miss your sister

Your nieces, nephews, cousins, children

Used to sing

Break-up songs for lullabies

Wish I could write you and me

A happy kind of story instead

No lost loves, no broken promises

Hope changed into

The steady gaze of a man who can build with his own two hands

Homecoming tabernacle

For all us, broken

The Ring Structure

I walk with the girl back across the highway in the dark, snow blankets everything, including the future, the loss of hope, the acquisition of children, the tiny individual snowflakes not unlike irreplaceable genetic components of life

She clears the windows of snow so the boy can drive to class in the morning…

What she doesn’t know won’t kill her, although fragments of conversations with oddly placed strangers are still defining

After all these years

The night is still cold, but cloudless this time, the moon looks on

Through the denuded branches of the tree the mourning doves have claimed

Leaving something besides snow to wipe aside, best I can, in the night