Monthly Archives: August 2014


whatever I've been
         to this faded land

at least I was ready
  when a piece of another land fell through

Long Road Home

The funeral home
where they reduced
my father’s body
to dust is now
a Portland brew pub.

I had
a beer there
on his birthday.

The traffic
would not
slow down.

Later, I walked back
to the car
remembering his wry smile–
Dad was a teetotaler.

The geese
above the river
that day
stitched their sky quilt
In the normal way

and the rain clouds
hung above
the bridges
like the furrowed brows
of ancient sky gods.

The tire slap
on the pavement
on the way home
reminded me
of the ten thousand miles
we traveled in his Volkswagen bus
along roads where everyone’s memories
collect and scatter
like cottonwood seeds.

Making Candy

We made our own candy.
Pulling taffy.
It was a thing.

Temperature was important.
Mom had a special thermometer
to gauge the time to start
stretching the pale sweet mass
with buttered hands

into long ropey strands
to be cut into strips
and laid on wax paper to cool.

I remember thinking it should have color
but ours was the color of summer straw.

I took my piece out onto the porch
and ate it as if the world was an anvil
and the days were made singly,
each hand wrought and smiling
as it cooled from the fire.