God’s Polaroid Camera (a poem)

For my father

in the dining room, action figures were imprisoned in a green vase, and you returned from prison with my uncle, looking slimmer

from pushups in sunbaked yards

mustache and dazed look gone, down on one knee, arms open wide & smiling with teeth I learned were fakes

I thought you were fake, too

unrecognizable, a stranger from a blurred past we no longer spoke of, only at grandma’s house, when we opened letters decorated by your brother with cut-outs from Marvel comics

& were told you were away on business –

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Family Tree (a poem)

There are ghosts in my family –

I realize this as my mother tells tales

of a biological grandfather I never knew

who blew smoke in my face

when I was two

of years my father spent in jail

of anxiety that permeates

the family tree, which is

diseased & hollowed

about to crumple & topple

into grayish dirt

(Photo by Dikaseva on Unsplash)

The Day my Brother was Born (a poem)

The day my brother was born, I was torn –

already 16 years old

on the cusp of college & adult life

he was so precious

he kept me close to home

in mind & soul

even though the family fell apart

I keep him close to my heart

worry about him, but know that

he’s my blood & I’d go to the gates of Hell

to protect him.

(Photo by Kylo on Unsplash)

Cooking is a Part of My Soul: Challah French Toast

Being a Southern woman, making food is a part of your soul.  It’s in our blood, it’s part of our spirit.  It’s just what we do – we cook when we’re happy, when we’re expecting guests, when we’re down, or during a pandemic.

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Little Olivia (a poem)

She slinks through the apartment

like a predator

a mouse-killer on the prowl

a scowl on her feline face

little Olivia, our baby girl

she’s a cute kitty, but

she’s also a cold-blooded killer.

Note: This poem is about our cat, Olivia. She’s the cutest little kitty, and also an excellent mouser!

My All Them Witches Album Review is published!

A couple of weeks ago, I reached out to a friend to ask about job opportunities. Lucky me, he runs a music website dedicated to what’s known as “Stoner Rock.” Now, I’m not a stoner (not anymore, anyway), but I do listen to Stoner Rock bands quite often.

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The Eve of the Funeral (a poem)

On the eve of the funeral, there was a knot in my stomach –

his death was so sudden

a Friday night phone call + he’s gone forever

I felt panic, a wave of grief that threatened to demolish me

my sister stepped into the summer night + screamed

a primal shout that began long years of healing.

(Photo by Richard Burlton on Unsplash)

Skeleton Key (a poem)

I want to trace my family’s history,

go back + find out how we got here –

there was a suicide in the ‘70s, a wound

we carry but do not discuss –

secrets hide in the shadows

+ who knows how they affect us.

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