Late March

Spring break. Last year, my daughter Annie had appendicitis this week, and then I came down with the flu. This year, Annie had her first car accident (just a fender bender, and no one was hurt, thank goodness), and her sister Pearl has the flu. Lots of good stuff going on, too. I had dinner out with a dear friend, I met with my friend Margaret to do some more planning on a class tentatively titled "Writing as a Spiritual Journey" that we hope to teach next fall, and I gave a poetry reading at Elizabeth House in West Seattle, honoring International Women's Month. I read poems about being a mom. Here's one (published in Pearl 41, Fall/Winter 2009).


Late March and the earth has turned us
toward the sun. Tulips wreck
dark order of beds. For a week,

this month I turn fifty, I think I'm pregnant,
either that, or it's finally menopause.
Either way, I'm in awe of beginnings.

My twelve-year-old daughter
wants clothes that will make her popular.
She wants to meet her favorite

TV stars. She wants a boyfriend.
I want for her the same things,
to love, to be loved. Outside

my bedroom window an apple tree
bends under its burden of white blossoms.
It's only an ornamental,

not that it knows or cares. It steps
through its days bravely as any bride.
That ignorant. That fragrant.


  1. Congratulations to Annie for getting her license. When I was 16 I totaled not only my 1950 ford but 2 brand new winged affairs at 3rd and Dayton in Edmonds. So a fender bender is a good thing in its own way. Oh, those twins keep you hopping.

  2. I will pass this along to Annie. She felt pretty awful! I hope you didn't total the "2 brand new winged affairs" too?

  3. I call them "the boys" they are together now, kind of hidden. Maybe I should give them names.


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