My catalog of you.

January 29, 2017 § 9 Comments


Claudia, Chris and my mother.

You and I go way back.

Way, way back.

I know you through a trail of moments that shine like a comet’s tail all the way to the horizon.

Vanished moments, vanished days?  None are really gone. They’re all right here in my catalog of you.

Versions you have outgrown or discarded? Got ’em, right here. Preserved as if in amber. The you of right-now is the hardest for me to see because I view you through the lens of all the yous I have known over the years.

I carry with me at all times, the scrapbook of you–I can open to any page.

Old? You’re not old. I’ve known you young and that’s who you are. What wrinkles?

matthews-classIf you are my best and oldest friend I still see you with chapped knees, waiting with me at the school bus stop up north. Remember up north? We’re still from there although it’s been years.

We don’t see each other all that often. Family and work obligations. You know… We are arrested at some point in the past, back when we had time, back when we were close.

That’s who you are to me, and who I am to you, still a couple of kids at the bus stop, or college roommates, or student teachers at the same elementary school. We could pick up that thread easy, if and when we get together.

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Worry…worry…worry…then repeat.

November 26, 2016 § 11 Comments


Worry doesn’t knock. It knows where you hide the key. Stumble out of sleep and, if it hasn’t climbed into bed with you, you will find it in its usual spot at the kitchen table, leaning on its elbows.

Might as well pour it a cup of coffee.

All day long worry steps on your heels, messes with you. It makes sure the car cranks like it isn’t going to start. It does, but not before adrenaline spikes. It sends text messages. It writes newspaper headlines. It keeps you distracted, ensuring that you misplace your glasses.

Worry runs the same movie over and over in a continuous loop behind whatever else is going on. It never serves popcorn.

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It Always Rains On Halloween.

October 28, 2016 § 6 Comments


It always rains on Halloween.

It turns the midget witches mean.

Hulk howls and drips an acid green,

and everyone gets wet between

plastic costume and plastic hat.

Princess hair goes limp and flat.

Water logs the vampire bat.

All stand and drip on front door mat.

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Pass it on.

October 23, 2016 § 5 Comments

It’s like that old game, hot potato.

When luck comes your way you got to pass it on. Pass it on quick as you can.

monarch-on-milkweedNo need to worry, it always leaves a little sparkly dust on your fingers.

Like touching a butterfly, some of the glimmer  on luck’s wings is bound to rub off.

Not everyone knows it, but it’s true. You got to give it away.

Clutch luck with both hands and it goes limp, turns itself into lifeless objects: hollow houses, gems with a cold sparkle, cars that drive real fast to nowhere—things that look like happiness when you don’t have ’em, but leave the mouth dry, hunger unappeased.

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Ever after, part 2.

October 9, 2016 § 7 Comments

old-coupleFalling in love young?


As irresistible as gravity.

And with luck, kindness, and effort, something lasting follows.

But some never form an enduring partnership when they are young.

Others lose that best friend to death.

In both cases, there is a vacancy, a hollow place in the heart that aches to be filled.

But with age, the one about to swan dive usually pauses to consider the depth of the water.

Falling in love later in life is more clear-eyed, and more complicated.

Two fully-formed human beings face each other, each towing a lifetime of baggage and assets: children, grandchildren, memories, mistakes, dreams.

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Ever after, part 1.

September 26, 2016 § 4 Comments

ac4caebc98bd1884_wedding_cakes_toppers_bCommitting your ever-after when you are young, and still learning how to be yourself, is exuberant, breathless, optimistic.

Fueled by romance and hormones, but only a partially-formed understanding of the self you are offering each other, you walk off the cliff together with absolute faith in flight.

To give it much thought would mean you weren’t really in love.

The decision to commit is made mostly outside the realm of rational thought anyway. This is the body’s best shot at immortality, and so it looks for a partner with physical traits that predict healthy, attractive children.

The body is less concerned with character or smarts—and a body that has decided, it’s time, floods the brain with endorphins, ensuring that a willing blindness takes over.

No one has ever been as funny, attractive, attentive, sympathetic as this guy!

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The lucky kids.

September 11, 2016 § 6 Comments


If, like me, you were lucky enough to be born in a middle class family, you were given many gifts. Bet you took them for granted.

That’s okay. As a kid it is not your job to question the way the world is, it just is. But even now those gifts may be unappreciated, and so taken for granted you figure they come with every childhood.

So, what did you and I get as some of the lucky kids?

We had a childhood.

We worried, sure, but our worries were kid-sized.

img_1736_edited-1Am I ever going to grow?

Learn to throw a ball?

Figure out long division?

Compared to wondering if the lights will be turned out or whether to eat ketchup, the only thing in the refrigerator, our worries were easy.


What else did we middle-class kids get?

Good grammar, books, travel, experiences.

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