...the chubby penny
i said, "indian chiefs on wooden nickels
are something we no longer need
and that buffalo on the other side—
it’s long been a dying breed.
so don't take any wooden nickels
that's my advice to you,
other than that you're on your own
to do what you can do.”
she walked away
with tears in her eyes
the nickel tightly clutched in her fist
and said, “i’ll keep this nickel if you don’t mind
i’m sure it won’t be missed.”
so i gave her my last wooden nickel
and as she left i heard her say,
“shame on us that the indian died
on the heads-up side—
and the buffalo ran away."
in her garden
tomatoes grow round and naked,
brownish green showing no trace of red.
she walks between brittle rows of corn,
where stalks fall limply into the fallow bed.
she dreams she is rahab, barefoot in the soil,
with her shoulders covered by a soft scarlet gown.
a harlot in the garden, hiding spies in the night
praying to god they will never be found.
at the appointed time her vegetables wilt
slowly dying from the hot noonday sun,
while her mind is fixed on jericho’s walls
and on joshua and caleb, two spys on the run.
dejected, she slipped down, hard onto her knees,
as her dry bucket spilled onto jordan’s banks.
her faith was shaken, her heart was quiet
and with outstretched hands she offered thanks.
kings searched frantically for twelve smooth stones
and armies prepared to battle ‘til the end.
their armor was set, shields and arrows prepared
and on her thin scarlet thread they’d depend.
the soil beneath her feet was soft
and capable of ruining her virgin white socks,
so she carefully moved through the parched battleground
watchful to avoid the hard, jagged rocks.
rahab, the harlot, wept alone in her garden,
as from the heavens, a steady rain began to fall.
and she knew that salvation had come to the house
when in the distance she heard the trumpet’s call.
she dried her tears with her scarlet gown
thankful for her vegetables, although so few,
with supper on the table and hungry mouths to feed
she wondered what rahab, the harlot, would do.
play for me angel
Music by Janice Kelly. Visit her website @ www.deepbluepiano.com
the pain of hungry lived in my belly trains rolled into those yawning cities boxcars were filled with dreams and wishes
i remember well the dark of midnight
where old men hid behind whiskered faces
and made me flee to such lonely places
slowing their pace while passing through
but dreams and wishes were never true
the pain of hungry lived in my belly
trains rolled into those yawning cities
boxcars were filled with dreams and wishes
4:03 train in belmont
i cup my hands and hold memories of you in the springtime
when tuesday was a season to be ridden
like a smiling horse on the seattle merry-go-round
you sat still while i sketched you with cotton candy
touching it here and there until you laughed out loud
while my fingertips found your pouting lips
you wore a white baseball cap with pink stripes
your hair escaped through the opening
and i snapped a mental photograph of how you stood
when the cool damp air tickled your chin
your eyes journeyed to another time, another place
while tuesday dropped like a mantle onto your shoulders
and the new season arrived on schedule
just like the 4:03 train in belmont
i learned that carousels still turn
i suppose life is much the same
everything is beautiful from a distance
with pleasant music and colorful smiles
painted on plastic ponies
yet you get off where you got on
and only the time has changed
a little memory
"What’s that on the bottom of your shoe?”
I was in the first grade and had heard the question
several times already but this was the first time by
“Fix it or you’ll trip.”
Even now I wonder if that look on his face was one of
I had worn a hole in the shoes that were much too tight
anyway. No matter how many times I tried to fix it, the
cardboard 'patch' slid loose.
In retrospect, I know that it was not merely the cardboard
covering the hole in my shoe that was showing...
Truth be known, it was the
first time I ever had to bare my sole.
I still don't know how to bare my soul.
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