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
crumple & topple
into grayish dirt
(Photo by Dikaseva on Unsplash)
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)
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.
She slinks through the apartment
like a predator
a mouse-killer on the prowl
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!
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.
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)
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.
Poor little Nico, he’s a silly dog.
He scratches himself all day,
howls whenever we go away –
I see him after I’ve been gone,
he wags his tail, greets me at the door, asks,
“Where have you been?”
Heavy boxes stacked in the bedroom,
you’re moving again, amid the pandemic.
We’ll see another part of Philly, add to
the memories we’ve made – even if we’ll
be wearing masks and hunkering down.
We’ll find a new coffee shop, we’ll walk new
streets, taking pictures every so often
that’ll be in a book next year that celebrates
our time together.
(Photo by Josh Hild on Unsplash)
Spider-Man was one of my favorite comic-book characters when I was younger. This picture is from a big Marvel Comics exhibit held at a Philadelphia museum in the summer of 2019. It was a great time.