Wild Flowers♥

Welcome to my Blog. You will find poetry here. All poems are my original work unless otherwise indicated. Enjoy! Why Wild Flowers? Because... "When a wild flower grows it picks its space." -- Sheryl Crow, and: "Nobody knows a wild flower still grows by the side of the road." -- Bon Jovi

Thursday, September 01, 2011

One of Those Nights

You're an RN without a stethoscope
listening to lung sounds,
you can't hear a thing
unless the patient has audible wheezing.
You start to take his blood pressure,
good thing the cuff is automated.
While the cuff is inflating
the call light from the next room rings,
a bed alarm goes off down the hall,
the ED calls to give report
on a new admit, a confused patient
wanders the hallway looking for a hammer,
if you had one you'd throw it.
One of the LPNs whines
her team is really busy
can't your team take the admit.
The top of your head pops off.
While the two LPNs pass meds, you
help the other RN settle the admit,
three call lights ring incessantly.
You leave the room to get a gown, a j-loop,
IV's are beeping in three rooms,
nobody has answered the call lights.
You check the IV with blood infusing,
answer a light, discharge a patient,
forget what you went to get.
Answer another call light, check another IV,
help a patient to the commode,
recall that you left the other RN in need
of something. Still can't find your stethoscope.
Holidays are double time.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Keeping Vigil

for Eric

A hunter, prowling on a summer's eve
tries to subtract a cottontail from the woods.
A boy finds it in the tall grasses
thrashing about, blood in its ears,
he wants to save the rabbit.
He places it on a yellow towel
inside a cardboard box, feeds it fresh lettuce
and thin carrot roots from the garden.
He thinks on a name, Peter perhaps or Dyno.
The boy watches as its bleeding slows
the rabbit darts randomly around
in the box claws scratching,
scratching. He sees the rabbit list left,
then right, and fall onto it's side.
As its breathing stills he pets the soft
brown fur, wills it to live. In the morning
the rabbit is rigorous. The boy still sees
the soft rise and fall of its sides,
in and out, in and out. A tear stains
his dirt-smudged cheek.

I wrote this one four years ago when my son Eric was not yet a teenager. We blamed this bunny's death on our cat Sabrina, but it turns out several years later my daughter Jackie fessed up to shooting it with a b-b gun. Although our cat Sabrina is the best rabbit hunter around, I think she caught 9 0r 10 this year, this was not one of hers. There is still a wooden cross by the side of our road that says Dyno.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


(after Kim Addonizio)

I know my daughter is going
she sits across from me
in the driver's seat, reaches
over to the radio buttons
always seeking, never listens
to an entire song. I know
how she used to bring
her baby blanket everywhere,
how she ate the fuzz from it,
now a scrap of security
tucked away in a drawer.
She sprays perfume that smells
like cotton candy, carries
a cell phone in her pocket,
and drinks bottled frappucino.
She defines cheerleader,
and confident has her first
I love you boyfriend.
She knows how to use
all the oxygen in the room.
I call her princess,
the only thing I say
she embraces these days.
She pretends not to know
that I know she is going.
She sits across from me
with her learner's permit
and birth control.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


cold sun
down, up into pines
mourning doves

quick chickadee
pecks evergreen cone
pine nuts

warm spring rain
robin red breast sings
grasses green

white admiral
glides on blue breeze
drifting boat

full of orange dahlias
sun rises

from cornstalk
crow takes wing
autumn harvest

north wind -
the white sky

in a jar
dry chrysalis

Menominee River Songs

after Li Po


A long hot summer, deserted water
Menominee River will return your sorrow.

Unable to gauge the grief of the families,
I climb the train bridge to Wisconsin’s side

gaze into Michigan, the distance of loss.
I look down at the river flowing past,

it never ceases unless the dam breaks.
I ask the water: will you remember

nothing of them as you carry their names
and each fistful of tears so very far?


Menominee River’s white-tail deer are countless,
a flurry of leaps, colored leaves falling

coax spotted fawn out of the autumn woods
they frolic, drink the sun from the water.


Meandering river, in sadness I gaze
into blossoms of red, sorrow follows you

under the bridge, no matter which side,
the water flows, but I can no longer look.


Along the Menominee River banks
Michigan’s woodlands are unforgettable,

the blue sky open, granite spilling ridges,
white water washes the rumble of stones.


Hundreds of white pines spread away here,
a hundred stands of maple trees ignite,

broad-winged hawks fly the endless ridges,
unseen, gray wolves night after night howl

stay away form the Menominee River,
the great-horned owl cries, warns of sorrow.


The burning sun heats up the river
scorches the sands, three crows gather.

He heard them laughing together
near the water, made them take flight.


On a slab of concrete at the train bridge,
three white crosses and bouquets of flowers.

On the sand abandoned clothing is strewn,
on the waves wilted petals ebb and tide.


The river’s a bolt of blue silk,
the shoreline stretches toward heaven

on the banks where children scattered
only hoof prints of the white deer.


Train bridge mid-river at the swimming hole,
the Menominee’s depths pass underneath,

in rough waters, a boat rocks, deserted,
a round hole near the bottom, trying to sink.


Campfire lights up the night sky,
from a leafless tree an owl whoos

on silent wings it whooshes by,
ghost stories are passed around.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Portrait of a Mother

She sits on an old wooden bridge
the water blurry, the edges sepia.
A carefree breeze musses her curls.
She leans back against the rail
her jacket buttoned tight,
her ankles crossed, smiling
as if she can prevent the fall.
Her son does not remember her

this way, happy or young. He knows
only the cruelty, the riot in her head,
the fragile fissures of her sanity
wisps of white that came undone.
He scatters her freckles across
the possibility in his daughter's face.

Friday, June 29, 2007

American Haiku

These inspired by Kerouac and the Beat Generation

July 4th
red, white and blue streamers
at the used car lot

at the corner Citgo
gas prices rise
corn husks in the tank

in the ditch
an empty Pepsi can
fills with ants

picnic at the park
a McDonald's wrapper
caught in the breeze

out in the field
an abondoned Chevy truck
home for mice

in this garden
bald goodyear radials
hold tomato plants

young Lions at bat
a fence sitting robin
keeps score

found dumped
old Frigidaire
mouth open

Saturday, December 02, 2006

In Baghdad

This poem is in honor of Sgt. James D. Priestap, a soldier from Hardwood, MI (Dickinson County) who was killed in Iraq.

In Baghdad

US military deaths hit
as of Tuesday Nov. 28, 2006

and yours among them
on Thanksgiving day, Jim
killed by a sniper at checkpoint 17
distributing food and water
to Iraqi police
giving candy to children

securing Baghdad
baga data: God given
a sheep enclosure
with blast walls and barbed wire,

and you in body armor
the bullet hit your shoulder
then your heart.

Who will hang the drywall in Hardwood,
work the night shift,
be husband and father, hero?

Is war still about the land,
the oil, race, and religion,
and changing the map of the world?

Your platoon divided
the ammo from your weapon.