Happy Birthday, Andrea, from Morgan

[i](for Andrea Van der Veer)[/i]

Do I smell cake? Or hake? Or steak?
Or mayhap a pate?

Goat cheese? A squeeze of Brie,
If you please? A spinach souffle?

A snack, a nip
A gourmet-loving sip of steamed cafeu lait?

Andrea keeps me fed and sleeps me in her bed
And bathes me when I shed
And runs me ’til I’m dead
(She’s kind of odd that way).

There’s people-food to eat and every kind of treat,
Imported tins of meat, nonpareils for sweet.

She gives me cats to harry
And I hope she does not marry
And have a mess of kids
Or I’m out on the skids.

But if things will only stay
The way they are today,
I know that every day
Will be a birthday.


[i](for Michael Koop)[/i]

Grandma died suddenly and crushed us kids,
Who were unprepared for
The staggering loss
That old people and families manage so well.

The Family stumbled.
Things were said
That echo faintly,
Even now.

But Family is family,
Which is why
Grandma is a sweet memory,
Not a bitter one.

It seems to me that your Family did it right,
And your tears seem
Much of denouement,

Less of loss.
Family is family, and your loss is
Near to mine.
So I didn’t go.


the poem is
just beneath the

the skin is pale and
easily opened

what happens though
is this

i find myself
out of words

out of breath on
the front steps with
the roses i bought
already fading

with apologies falling
from my lips

and if i’m not a
person you could ever
love and if
you don’t have the strength
to hate me
then what?

we are all afraid in
the thin air
of passing days

held to the ground by
the sheer grey enormity
of the sky

by the lack of

one among us just
waiting for the
perfect moment to step
forward and be

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