first there was one
size sevenish
dropped halfway
between the women’s gym
and the music library.

a mile away, outside a cafe
on the sidewalk
infant-sized folded over

and waiting at my front door
one used-to-be white tube thing
presented pantingly
by the very (very)
big black dog
who joys in herding socks
from under the boy’s bed
with all the pride
and gentle mouth
as if he’s rescuing lambs.

Lucky sock this.
The salmon sky
brights with lightning.
The forecast says

Posted in poem | 2 Comments


Nothing better than discovering the world isn’t the one you know…

Posted in photo | Leave a comment

I May Really Have to Change

I hear that some of Edith Wharton’s books are investigations into what constitutes an honorable life. The person who mentioned this was wondering out loud if “honor” is even part of our culture any longer.

Each poem I used to write was what it was. But I was moved to write thinking that some of them would provide some small insight for me, and maybe even for others. At this juncture in my life – after cancer and divorce, and caught in worries about money now and future — I don’t feel like I have insights or wisdom. Since this is no longer working as a motivator, I wonder if it’s still worth writing.

I am glad when my favorite bloggers blog. I feel grateful that they have been generous enough to take the time to write. I’m intensely interested in how people decide what’s worth doing, where they get the strength and equanimity to do what must be done, how they balance their lives, and where they find happiness.

When I was younger, I read wide and deep out of curiosity, thinking to figure life out by reading about what I didn’t already know – experiences of people who were older, or in different cultures, or in different points in history. As I get older, I find myself with less energy to be curious about the unknown world, and more pressed to find people who are wondering/thinking /seeking/finding solutions to problems they face that I also face without happy solutions.

On the other hand, I escape. No longer into alcohol or drugs; sometimes into food; often into fantasy. Into mystery stories where there are always answers. Into worlds where magic is a feasible intervention. Into tales of super powers or super spies or fabulous wealth, or better still, all three together.

I often feel like I did in 7th grade when facing the insurmountable obstacle of algebra — not knowing what I didn’t know, so not knowing even what questions to ask. Now I face the seemingly unscalable algebras of difficult parenting, of my body’s aging, of loneliness, of providing for my son and myself in these times that are not what I counted on them to be.

I wonder if Edith Wharton would take one of these issues and write a novel to imagine how another real sized but differently charactered person might find solutions that elude me.

I have started going to the gym, taking NIA (a dance + martial arts curriculum of movement) following the instructors call, “stomp, stomp, strong, strong, forward. Then light light light back.” Watching her, I think I am doing exactly what she is doing. Then I see myself in the mirror and realize that my strong isn’t very strong, and my light and quick, aren’t very. This is something of a revelation. Actually, I’m rather stunned. Who I think I am, I may not be. How I appear, may not be me.

I have slipped out of the story of my life. But I seem to have a bad case of writer’s block. I wonder if I have actually ever authored my life, or whether it has just unfolded. And which should I do now?
I may have to change. Really change.

Imagine a host of new characters with new strengths and possibilities. Then pick one, and practice?

Posted in change, dance, writing | 2 Comments

Ms. John


Posted in family, photo | 1 Comment

Am I back?

February, March, April, May all slipping and sliding to get to June when our public school district decided whether or not to continue to pay tuition at our son’s private school for kids on the asperger’s spectrum. My email inbox is pages and pages long, and the available memory teeters on empty, like I’d be dead if this was a video game. Emails to the privately paid neuropsychologist and the occupational therapist and the speech and language therapist and our parent advocate (our team); and to the district’s coordinator and their occupational therapist and their speech and language person (THEM); and to Ezra’s main teacher and to his assistant teacher and to his slingerland therapist, and to his school’s occupational therapist, and to his speech and language specialist and to the head of school (somewhere in between our team and them).

The good news : they will pay one more year.

The “ain’t it the way of this world”: we have to meet again and pay one specialist and our parent advocate to attend since the school district dropped the ball in early June, then again in late June, then didn’t bother to answer any emails for phone calls for the month of July.

Why do I expect any different?

Oh, did I mention that the paperwork is almost finished to take my ex to court over my son’s need for medication that he’s not getting because his dad is blocking it? Oh, did I mention that 6 months ago my lawyer said, “well of course we need to get him the meds he needs,” but now says, “you do know this is a long and expensive process, don’t you?”

I haven’t been here, because this is what you’d get….so do i push post, or do i just exit?

Oh hell. I’ll push publish, and y’all can just skip this.

Posted in adhd impulsive type, bitch and moan, disgraphia, education, non public school placement, non verbal learning disorder, reactive attachment disorder, sensory integration deficits | 2 Comments

spell check

“god giveth and god taketh away”

Microsoft Word underlines both giveth and taketh as being mispelled.

I think to add them to my harddrive’s dictionary. I wonder if ever in my lifetime I’ll use them again. I think perhaps maybe I should — a kind of protection against them falling from sight and taking my Grandmother’s feathery old voice speaking scripture with them.

Posted in memoir, words | 1 Comment

god giveth and god taketh away

burglars came in the middle of the day
and took some of my son’s electronics away

the plum tree outside our window is speaking in
hundreds of white blossoms.

I expect one or the other
and get both.

Posted in poetry | 4 Comments

A Prayer for Haiti

May all the dead in Haiti find peace.
May all the wounded find ease.
May all the hungry and thirsty find clean water and good food.
May all the grieving, find a gentling hand.
May all the fearful, find strength.
May all who want to help, find those in need.

Posted in prayer | Leave a comment


After overcast and cold and rain and wind, this morning there was sun. The world was dripping wet golden shine and reflecting wet golden shine and, well, glowing. I felt lighter too.

I find myself wanting this to be a harbinger of good things to come; the promise of spring somewhere in our not too distant future.

Then laugh a bit. The shine is now. Why make it mean anything more than wow?

Posted in happiness | 2 Comments

Word Cloud Astrology

Three years after the event
DIVORCE is still followed
by HURT followed
by Relationship
in my word cloud’s scatter.

As out of balance
as if Pluto shown brighter
in the daytime sky than the Sun.
To change my daily horoscope
I need to fling Pain
to the outer rim of my system.

Dear Reader,
If you know a mythology
to realign the night sky,
please leave a comment
of any length on my blog.

Best always,
Open Palm

Posted in change, divorce, politics | 3 Comments