Drop-off Day

From the February 2015 Print Edition

Make sure you give yourself a chance to grieve,
A parent handout helpfully suggests.
My last one’s gone; I thought she’d never leave.
Children at this stage in life are guests
who have outstayed their welcome. Why deceive
myself, pretend I’m sad when empty nests
are full of possibilities? Why mourn?
I haven’t had much peace since they were born. At last, we’re free—no longer wasting hour
after hour acting like we care
about recitals. We step into the shower
unafraid we’ll slip on greasy hair
conditioner, and we don’t face a tower
of dishes every night or have to share
our groceries. A stocked refrigerator
isn’t empty twenty minutes later. Grieve because they finally moved out? No;
but with them gone I see the years ahead
opening like a pathway deep in snow
above the tree line; ridges I can’t tread
at half the pace of thirty years ago,
when I was starting out. Of course, I dread
the icy gulfs we’ll cross as we descend
along the stream we’ll ford at journey’s end. But why complain? We’ve hiked alone before.
Our legs are wobbly, but our hearts are strong,
and we have crags and summits to explore
(for cheap, since we’ll be paying bills a long,
long time); or stay, no need to lock the door
for fear we’ll be disrupted by a throng
of uninvited children in our room.
There’s no activity we can’t resume. Continue Reading »

Prayer for a Meeting

From the October 2013 Print Edition

Come, Holy Spirit, fill me with affection for sycophantic colleagues who pretend a boss’s remark is witty; the projection of Power Points that stray from the agenda with pie charts, false and darkly personal, that narrow my dominion to a sliver, and bullets saying things are worse in all of my . . . . Continue Reading »

Anniversary In-Sink-Erator

From the April 2011 Print Edition

The stream beneath the site of our proposal at Vista Valley Country Club’s faux bridge has brought us here to shop for a disposal on Friday night at Lowe’s on Sunset Ridge uphill from Toys-R-Us. Our love was founded and sealed when we agreed to wear these bands. These symbols of infinity . . . . Continue Reading »

Time Management

From the June/July 2009 Print Edition

Luther in the year he spent as Junker Joerg in Wartburg towers, translated the New Testament to pass the everlasting hours. Though living as a refugee Erasmus wrote his tour de force. In Praise of Folly ’s said to be the product of a trip by horse. With dinners late, D’Aguesseau saw an . . . . Continue Reading »

Backyard Triumph

From the Aug/Sept 2008 Print Edition

Truant from April chores I daydream in a chair beneath a tree that scatters its petals when it stirs, the way a girl might scatter blossoms before a litter that brings a self-made god exultant down her road, while Calvinistic bees insist that glory’s brief. Extend the allegory: should petals . . . . Continue Reading »

Pumpkin Hurling

From Web Exclusives

Every Columbus Daythe locals bring their chairsand watch a trebuchetlaunch pumpkins past a fortof tin, as engineersat play attempt to crushthe record for the sport of hurling giant squash .It must have been a shockwhen such a monster threwsilent rounds of rockinto the market squarehundreds of years . . . . Continue Reading »