Monday, November 30, 2009

No Assembly Required

On other holidays the gifts were
hidden in the garage
pulled out before the big day

pieces arranged on the floor.
directions, in three languages,

left me confused
but I always persisted
until the treasure resembled

the picture on the box.
Extra parts were saved in case

they turned out to be critical.
After a quick test,
indicating it worked,

it was wrapped with a big bow
then placed under the tree.

I looked forward to the pleasure
of my children in the morning

as they gave credit to an imaginary
man in a red suit who didn’t have

the decency to deliver the gift
already put together.

He must have heard my complaint
because this year it came
with no assembly required.

She Misspoke

She talked about
a shower of bullets
and running frantically
across the tarmac.
She feared for her life
and that of her daughter
seeking shelter
under the eaves
or behind the building
anything to shield her
from the terrorist rain
"an exciting story,"
the newsman said
then looked up the date
and discovered
the details were
He found a photo
of a friendly crowd
offering flowers…
a pleasant tale
by any standard
but not one to reveal
the horrors of war
she suggested,
or the bravery required
on the part of the teller...
so why should she be
elected to the presidency
the people wondered
and didn't vote for her.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Famous People

Some people are star chasers
seeking fame by being among the famous
becoming stalkers,
and rock star groupies,
obsessive autograph collectors,
and blurs in the crowds of avid fans.

To what end does this devotion offer?
An opportunity to break security,
to accumulate photos for infamy,
to find a place where the spotlight
shines on their face, however subtly.

The statesman taking position
behind the president.
What’s his name?
Never remembered
and his life in general
of little consequence
except for the picture on his wall.

Others seek reality T.V.
as a means to emerge from oblivion
to be recognized, at least for a little while
but even the famous tumble into the ooze
and are all forgotten in time.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Finding Oneself

Young adulthood is a time to find oneself
experiment with lifestyles and attitudes
we look for role models out in the world
and may diverge for awhile
but usually become a replica
of our parents, too settled,
too safe, too predictable
and if by chance
our parents are crazy
we model after those of our friends
or the adults on T.V.
who reflect the status quo
as we seek the invisible prisons
of perfection rather than the expansive
world of life without borders
where anything is possible.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Chains upon my wrists and ankles
locked to traditions beyond reason
stand, sit, kneel
one mind
secrets hidden in ritual
blood sport dressed in holy veils

listen to the bell
the monotone language
of long forgotten passion
flickering in the candlelight

tongues of flame
reveal the walls
of my prison.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Gift Of Love

I’ll give you an onion
as the perfect gift

peel away the layers
to evoke the tears
held back for too many years
release the sadness

that chokes your expression
like washing walls
of cobwebs
those unspoken hurts
cleared out of the corners

so that once again
like an innocent child

you are capable of love
in all its passion
hungry,reckless, wild

pure exploration
to give away

leaving your
heart exposed
to receive affection
more readily.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Purpose In Life

Each living creature has a purpose in life
some to be food for other creatures
their by-products provide shelter and warmth.

In these endeavors some beings become extinct
while the tiniest propagate and pose a threat
wiping out whole populations.

Human creatures seek a purpose
beyond survival,
many have a burning desire
to do more than eat or be eaten.

Humans want to make a difference,
to be recognized for their contribution,
to make the world a better place.
They ponder the question,
“What is my purpose in life?”

Some examples
of extraordinary souls
Jesus, Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.
are recognized for their generosity,
leadership, and vision,
killed in their prime
and to what end?

Makes me wonder
if taking a public stance,
however inspired,
is the best road for individuals to aspire?

Maybe low key is a better position
just out of range of assassins
and public opinion
where survival is the key.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Lesson from a Turtle

It survived the plight of dinosaurs
eating leafy greens
and occasional insects
birdlike beak without the flight
so unlike the bird
never transcending the pull of gravity
drudging along with all
its luggage saddled for

its earthly journey
without humor
or speed
steady and true
it still won the race.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Three Unrelated Poems

I remember Jimmy lying in a coffin
dressed up like an altar boy,
a red cassock and white surplus,
his hands clasped around
his prayer book and a black
rosary draped from his fingers.
I wanted him to breathe,
to see his eyes flutter,
so I could get him out of the box
and run with him along the river banks
catch butterflies and do cartwheels
but instead he lay in quiet repose
the silence crashing on my ears,
crushing my chest, until I heard
his mother wail.

Hot Cocoa Before Bed
After a long cold day of chores and play
the only things to comfort me
sitting by the fireplace,

watching the fire,
and drinking a steaming cup
of hot cocoa,

after a few sips, my head nods
and then it is time for bed.

Compuda Belly
In the days of my adolescence
my belly was concave
after two babies it pouched a little
but after hours of hard labor
in front of a computer
and too many years of work
my profile became corpulent

life happy and content

rub my compuda belly
for good luck.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Her Rolling Pin

The funeral was over
mourners had gone
there was nothing to do
but go through her things
a modest woman whose wealth
lay in her offspring
material items were few
and of little value.

Some costume jewelry
with stones missing,
a few dresses too oversized
for her daughters to wear,
some dusting powder
with a big pink puff,
given to her on mother’s day.

She never used it but
didn’t throw it away
there were two more stashed
at the back of the drawer.

What do you give a woman
who wants nothing?

From the bedroom to the kitchen
some items needed to remain
Dad wanted them in order to sustain
himself now that she was gone.

Out went the dented aluminum pots
and all the plastic cake decorating stuff
everything from the old junk drawer;
extra screws, paper clips,
bobby pins and more.

Some siblings protested,
“What’s the rush?
Can’t we take time to grieve?”

I guess they're right, I’ll just finish
this drawer - a few aprons she never wore,
some holiday towels she never used,
and there at the back, her rolling pin,
the red handles long gone, the wood
worn smooth but the right size for her hand.

I let out a sigh, placing the rolling pin
on the kitchen table, then fixed up a batch
of tortillas for the family to enjoy.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Danger At The Red Light

We pulled up to a red light
on a Saturday night
my sister and two of our friends.

In the lane next to ours
was a car load of boys
hot and looking for trouble.

My sister flicked on the window
in sync with the beat
and the fellows took it
as an invitation to follow.

They looked unruly
so we tried to lose them
with quick turns
onto side streets.

Desperate we turned down
a long dark alley
and much to our horror
there was no exit ahead.

So we pulled into a carport
and crouched down low
our hearts beating hard,
someone praying an Our Father

We saw their headlights.
The boys were right behind
us and out of their car

without hesitation
I turned on the ignition
then pressed on the gas

drove through
the carport, over a field,
down several dark roads
to the safety of home.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Women Don't Kiss Frogs

How many woman,
if given a chance,
would kiss a frog
even if she knew
he was a prince?

If you’ve ever touched
a frog you know
its body is cold
and it has little bumps,
like so many warts,
on the outside of its skin
and when it gets excited
it pees all over your hands.

I just can’t believe that
in the time of make-believe
a woman would do it ...
even to break an evil spell.

I think she would settle
for a life less exciting
than to live in a castle
and be the wife of a prince
if it meant kissing
a frog in order to get it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


How many times have you had a conversation
with a child nearby? They seem to be playing
but do you notice how quietly? They
hear every word, especially the whispered ones.
A child may not understand everything said
but moods can be interpreted through body
language and vocal tones.

Whispers about illness or death
do not protect the child from tragedy
it is better to be honest and include them
so they can share in the tears
which makes more sense than secrets.

What about financial worries?
Some disagree in this matter
are you robbing children of their childhood,
or engaging them in real life issues?

As a youngster I loved adult conversations
I stood in the hallway just out of sight
and heard the lady from church whisper
about the priest’s indiscretion
removed from the parish without a goodbye.

Another time my uncle told my parents
about a near kidnap of one of my cousins.
He said he expected it
she was asking for trouble
she wore too much make-up
and her skirts were too high.

My niece loved the drama of family fights
she walked across a department store
to stand near the people arguing
and peruse items close to the conflict
so she could hear the juicy details
with a chance to choose sides.

Children can’t keep secrets any better than adults
and will repeat what they’ve heard
without adequate filters. So when you talk
to another make sure the kids aren’t
around because without a doubt they’ll
retell the tales to anyone who’ll listen.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hoops and Petticoats

I was the oldest girl in my family
the first one to make an impression
so my parents dressed me up like a princess
or was it Shirley Temple who created the fashion?

A dress made of taffeta with lace
and ruffles and a long, full skirt
that needed lots of petticoats
or a slip with a hoop to fill it out.

It was difficult to walk and I couldn’t
play and when it was time to sit
I had to be at the edge of the seat
or the hoop would flip up
and my modesty lost.

I’m glad the fashion has changed
maybe now it’s too casual for some
but I’d rather be in rags
then on a pedestal.

Standing upright and oh so still,
an adornment to be admired
too imprisoned to move,
caged in hoops and petticoats

with layers and layers before
anyone could touch me
unless the hoop flew up
and then it was a free for all.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Tin Church

My aunt Josie attended church
in a Quonset hut, a tin structure
where the semicircular roof formed the walls -
an inexpensive shelter for the faithful.

The inside looked like any other church
with the crucified Christ on an altar,
beeswax candles, statues of saints,
stations of the cross, and confessionals

but when it rained the rat, tat, tat,
like bullets in a war zone,
created such a noise
I wondered if God could hear her prayers.

There were only Latin masses
so it didn’t matter what the priest said
she couldn’t understand him anyway
“Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.”

I’ve come to realize my aunt
lived in the bad part of town
where the pachucos ruled and her
only son the ultimate sacrifice.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Rocking Chair

The large chair was
covered in green leather,
secured with upholstery tacks
of antique brass,

a dark mahogany
with large arm rests
and a decorative crest
appropriate for a royal family.

There were two large rockers
perfectly curved
so it couldn’t fall over
when mother was rocking.

It was a gift from dad
after their first born.

They left it when they moved to Oregon
then took it back again upon their return.

It was her throne
where she nursed each child,
from birth to a year -

No one could sit in the chair
when there was a new baby in the house

but after each infant was weaned
it was open season for the rest
of us to be the first one in the chair

to rock back and forth uninterrupted.

The lucky one

got to sit all alone
and if she felt generous
could share it with another

to read stories,
chant rhymes,
sing songs,
or to day dream.

One day I rocked on my brother’s leg
and caused him to howl
another time he sat with me
we rocked so hard we toppled over

and made a crack in the wall.

When we moved to California
we left it again, this time
with an aunt on my mother's side.

I’ve never seen another chair
quite like that rocker

but when I touch upholster tacks
or see the forest color
I am taken back

to my mother’s favorite chair
that beautiful leather rocker.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Barking Dog

Tootsie, my first dog
wasn’t a liar.
If he barked there was an intruder,
or kids in trouble, or something
else that needed my attention.

- i will find a picture of Tootsie to insert -

My second dog, Monty, was a lover
and didn’t bark but licked vistors
and sang a melody in his loud baritone.
Fortunately I was never in danger
and didn't need him to be a watch dog.

My most recent dog, Humphrey is a baby,
too big for my lap, yet everything
that bumps or thumps - he jumps -
and barks until I tell him everything is okay.

Each of these dogs
shared my home and brought their own
personality perhaps reflecting a time in my life
where they were the right barking dog.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Lady, You Want To Buy?

Little children with dark brown skin

dark eyes and white teeth

line up along the roadway

offering their wares in out stretched hands

“Hey lady, you want to buy?”

She looks away from their tattered clothes

and the dirt beneath their fingernails

then offers ten dollars for a box of Chiclets

Friday, November 13, 2009

Baking For The Holidays

There are bags of flour,

lined up along the counter

also an arrangement of sugars;

brown, powder and granulated.

Nuts, eggs, butter and oil

sit with cinnamon, nutmeg and of course

every kind of chocolate.

Each item selected according to a recipe,

a few have been handed down,

like gingerbread and sugar cookies

others are new, found online or in magazines.

The key is to start a week before the holidays

with enough time to replace ingredients

if anything burns or doesn’t turn out.

Rituals of dusted rolling pins

and greased baking dishes

a scoop, a pinch, a sprinkle

fill the kitchen with an aroma

and family laughter, easy conversation

and sampling… so much sampling.

Resolve to diet with the New Year

but until then savor

each crumb with someone you love.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hair Stylist

every woman who enters
wants to meet a stylist
to get her hair cut
swept up
and highlighted

She stares in the mirror
while the master works
with expert fingers
and scissors
a clip here, a snip there

a style starts to emerge,
one that accents her
facial features
a flip, a curl, some bangs

and after an hour or three
each woman, one by one,
pays her hair dresser
and walks out the door
with confidence
to face the world
once more.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


While waiting in the terminal at O’Hare’s International Airport I noticed a two year old boy running away from his dad and then struggling to free himself while his father tried to hold on to him. As a parent I recognized the down turned lip, those crocodile tears and the ear splitting scream as he pushed away from his dad and reached for an older woman, probably his grandmother. I caught his eye from across the room and whispered, “Hey baby”. It worked. He quieted down and looked away.

I was startled to hear the young Marine sitting nearby say, “Hello.”

“Oh,” I laughed, embarrassed that he thought I was flirting with him, thrilled that a young, good-looking Marine was talking to me. Then I reminded myself I was over sixty. I realized he was just being friendly so I said; “I was talking to that little guy over there,” pointing to the young boy now hiding his face in his grandmother’s neck.

“I thought it was weird that you called me baby,” he said, “but it didn’t bother me because you remind me of my grandmother.” He smiled and looked down at his hands. “She passed away last year.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” I said, surprised by his openness.

“I miss her, especially now,” he said.

“What’s going on now?” I asked looking at his fatigues, military haircut, and clean-shaven face.

“I’m heading out to Iraq.” His mouth twitched as he said the words.

“Are you okay?” I asked, trying to find out what he was thinking, not to burden him with my opinion.

“I want to serve my country. I feel proud to wear this uniform and all but to tell you the truth I’m scared,” he said looking at me with his hazel green eyes. “I guess I’d be stupid if I wasn’t.”

“War is scary. My brother served in Vietnam,” I had strong thoughts about Vietnam but I didn’t think he needed to hear them and tried to think of questions to keep him talking about his feelings. “What scares you the most?”

“Not coming back,” he said hunching his shoulders forward and staring at the floor. “I joined the Marines because I didn’t want to end up like the guys I hung out with,” he continued. “They had no plans for their life. They were drinking too much and some were starting to get into drugs. My oldest brother got into it real bad.”

“It seems most families have at least one who struggles with addiction,” I said remembering how my brother returned from his tour of duty so strung out he couldn’t complete simple sentences. I didn’t mention that detail.

He continued, “I didn’t want to be one of them. The first time I tried to sign up they didn’t take me because I was too fat. I was over 345 pounds. I use to spend my time watching T.V. and sitting at the computer,” he rubbed his rock hard stomach. “I lost forty pounds on my own.”

“What did you do?” I asked looking at his muscular forearms.

“I got off the couch and started moving,” he laughed out loud.
“The more I moved the less I ate,” he said.
“They finally let me enlist and I lost another sixty pounds.
No one recognizes me anymore,” he said patting his flat stomach again.

“You look very athletic and strong. I would never guess you had a weight problem.” I was amazed at how animated and excited he was now contrasted to a few minutes ago. I could see that he was just a kid… maybe nineteen.

“When I go home I can’t sit around anymore. I have to get outside. I look for a game of basketball, or go for a run. My dad says he liked me better when I was fat,” he smiled. “He says I move around too much now.”

“Your family must be proud of you.” I said.

“My dad was a Marine and he said I’ve got to hang tough… My brother was too
stoned to say much… My mom died of breast cancer when I was eight...My grandma is the one who would be proud… She took care of my brother and me… She always said to make something of myself. I didn’t have money for school and I wanted to do something worthwhile so I joined the Marines.”

“What are your feelings about the war?”

“Someone’s got to do it. It might as well be me,” he said shrugging his shoulders.

“I think going to war takes a lot of courage. Thank you for being willing to make the sacrifice,” I said wondering if he knew the scope of his selflessness.

“Flight 163 to Atlanta, boarding at Gate 36,” the announcer called out over the loud speaker. I felt a panic. I wanted to hold on to him. To protect him from the certain danger he faced.

“That’s my flight, I better go,” he said gathering up his luggage.

“What’s your name?” I asked.

“David,” he replied, extending his hand.

“I’m Dolores,” I said standing up to give him a hug. He held me tighter than I
expected and we both let out a deep sigh. “My prayers go with you David.”

“Thanks. I liked talking with you,” he said.

“I like talking with you too David,” I choked on my words and tears ran down my cheeks. “Make sure you come back” I said.

He smiled and waved one last time. “I’ll try to.”

I saw him get in line and walk down the gangplank, by then my husband had
returned with some coffee. When he saw my tears he asked, “Is something wrong?”

“See that tall marine over there?” I asked pointing to David just as he bent his head down to walk through the gateway leading to his plane.

“Yeah. What about him?”

“He is leaving for Iraq.”

“How do you know?”

We sat down and I told him about our conversation. “I wish I could have done more. I was taken by surprise with his openness. The problem is I was so busy trying to think of what to say to keep him talking that I didn’t even ask for a way to stay in touch with him.”

“Too bad,” my husband said.

“Yeah, no kidding,” I sighed and then rubbed my temples as I thought about the thousands of homes affected with this war and how many young men and women were responding to the call to serve in the armed forces. Glancing around the airport I noticed the two-year-old boy now peacefully asleep in his grandmother’s arms I sighed and said another prayer for all the families affected with the ravages of war. Then I buried my head in my hands and wept.

Balancing Act

Several smooth flat stones
piled high to form towers
touching clear blue skies

Perilous structures
positioned haphazardly
stand a little while

Wind blows, earth shudders
unstable sculptures tumble
crashing to the ground

Boulders and pebbles
rumble to the river's bed
ruins turned to sand

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Suburbia America

This is American living,
at its most diversified.

Glance one way and that family comes from Canada,
look another, you’ll see faces from Korea, Middle East,
Spain, Germany. Across the street, Vietnam, and Armenia,with
a mix of Japanese and East Texan, also a Native American
married to one of British descent.

A collection of Atheists, Catholics, Protestants,
Buddhists and Muslims living in close proximity.
The houses are large single story homes
with medium sized yards. The neighborhood
streets are named after flowers;
Primrose, Poinsettia, Larkspur,

The Lutheran church at the north entry,
shares space with a Korean church.
An award winning elementary
school sits at the south entry.

The air is pungent with the aroma
of onion, garlic and different
breads from every culture.

With changes in the economy there are more cars
parked at each house; boomerang children,
displaced relatives, renters. Some wave
but most keep to themselves.

Several original owners, now retirees,
tend to their grandchildren,
a few walk their dogs.
Traffic is busiest before and after work.
Children rarely walk or play
on the sidewalk or street.
Parents keep them under constant watch.
Cats don’t prowl and dogs don’t bark.

It is close to freeways, Disneyland,
and beaches, no hustle of the city,
no centralized transportation
no crowds of pedestrians,
or central meeting areas.

Teenagers don’t run away
to this place.
Instead they
leave their
families for
the city
to escape
the safety
of suburbia.

Making Ends Meet

Thirteen year old, Thelma Jenkins,
thrust her hands deep into her pockets
and found a dusty paper clip.

Then with a twist and a turn she made
a hook and attached it to a piece
of line she found wrapped
around the railing at the end of the pier.

Things aren’t what they seem.

She scratched the sores between her
fingers, then rubbed her belly to soothe
the ache, soured from the smell
of soiled diapers and rotten food,
spilling from the overturned trash cans.

A sea gull took aim, but missed.

Life is out to get me.

She noticed a fish head lodged between
the wooden slats of a bench. “Sorry Mr. Fish,”
she said, then pushed the hook through its eye socket.

It made her think of the aristocrats who lost
their heads during the French revolution.

Things could be worse.

Lowering her bait, the grotesque head,
bobbed up and down in the waves.
It reminded her of Mr. Stokes,
her old math teacher.

“Now Miss Jenkins,”
she heard him say, “show us
the circumference of this circle?”

Life used to be normal.

Shielding the sun from her freckled face,
her stomach growled, and in a little while
she felt a tug at the end of her line,
and there it was, fighting for its life,

dinner for one if she could pull it in.

Things will get better.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Thanksgiving Day

He stood at the corner of a busy street
clinging to a tattered cardboard sign
with the words, HUNGRY Please Help Me.

The coins clinked into
his cup sounding like his
mom’s silverware.

He remembered plates filled with
sweet yams, steaming turkey, and
mashed potatoes covered in gravy…

then Dad’s drunken angry words,
Mother’s broken antique china,
...running out of the house
slamming the front door...

Memories left a bitter taste
sour bile deep in his gut.

He scratched the scabes on his unwashed
head, his sinuses ached from the stench
wafting up through the sewer grate.

He wiped the corners of his mouth
longing for the sting of a needle
followed by the sweet silence
of slumber filling his veins.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Balanced Checkbook

there was a time the household budget
depended on a balanced checkbook
the rows of numbers had to be added

and subtracted throughout the weeks

to match the total on the monthly statements
a few pennies lost were permissible
but all the dollars had to be accounted for

because the paycheck only lasted
for thirty days, no wiggle room for mistakes,
no fudging, or forgetting expenses

today with electronic wizardry
an up-to-date balance can be had

with the swipe of a card and a secret pin number
current state of potential spending
is available with an itemized list of all

checks written, charges credited, or impulses debited

like an electrocardiogram
giving information on economic health
available for everyone to see in an instant.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Right Words

I remember as a child, one of my tasks was to
clean the debris from the pinto beans,
quality control in the home, the last stop before
the boiling pot and dinner meal.

Writing poetry is much the same,
filtering each word, tossing out the ones
that crunch on the ear if left unedited.

Words; individual letters whose sounds
are combined to make meaning, several sounds
then linked together to create a cadence and
rhythm like a pounding drum,
arranged for the listener's pleasure

The sapphire sky reflected in the water
lapping gently on the sandy shore.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


The phone woke me up from a deep sleep.
I tried to focus on the clock,
large red digits read; 3:00 A.M.
Who could be calling at this hour?

There’s my son, out in the desert
he’s got three kids and wife,
maybe it is one of them?

Or maybe my youngest son
who lives with his family
twenty minutes off the freeway.
They’re usually not out at night
could the kids be sick?
Is there an emergency?

What about my grand niece
could something have gone wrong?

I finally clear my head
enough to pick up the receiver
and say, “Hello,” in my gravely voice
I hear nothing but quiet sobbing.

Again I say, “Hello.”
This time clearer and louder
…nothing… and then a dial tone.
I look for caller ID
but no number listed
it's blocked, the caller unknown.
I try * 69 but the line is busy.

I dial the number for my oldest son
“Everybody’s fine. No worries.”

The younger one is okay too
but, why he wonders
did I called so early?

Finally the niece assures
me, the call didn’t come from her.

I guess it was a wrong number
but who was crying
at 3:00 this morning?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Long Term Relationship

We’ve known each other since we were young
just out of adolescence and married
first one child and then another
time filled with so many activities
in a little while the house was still
just you and me and the dog

We finish each other’s sentences
four hands to complete every task
we have a rhythm all our own
words are shared but don’t have to be
we frequently touch so naturally
and laughter a daily activity

We are connected undoubtedly
our breath synchronized, our heartbeats too
can’t imagine life without the other
can’t sleep at night if we are apart
whatever existed when we were young
can’t compare to when we're older.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Making Friends

I wander around the playground
looking for someone to be with
but no one wants to play with me.
I stand alone under the big shade tree.

I look up to the sky and what do I see?
A big fluffy cloud in the shape of a bear.
I imagine he’s smiling down at me.

Another girl with brown curly hair asks me,
“What are you doing, can I play too?”
I point up to the sky

and to my delight
we make up stories
about the shapes we see.

There are families of rabbits
a horse, and a mouse
a dog being chased by a fire breathing dragon.

Recess goes quickly and we promise
to meet at the same spot after lunch
and again next week.

Cloud watching gives way to other games
we meet after school and clearly remain
friends for the rest of fifth grade.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Building Homes

He carried his hammer in a leather belt
a few nails protruded from his mouth,
he climbed the ladder and then
one by one he pounded the nails into the wall.
His rhythm, like a drummer in a rock band,
one, two, three and then on to the next.

By sunset the wooden frame looked like a house
all the outside walls defined
the smell of pine mixed with sweat.
The final nail driven and it was time to quit.

Tomorrow a helper was scheduled
to put up the drywall and door jams.

He told me he liked working with his hands
because when he finished
he could survey his work and come back
again and again to admire his finished product.