Tag Archives: Family



Mother’s shrinkage was marked by domicile

House, apartment, retirement and nursing home
shedding at each move, furniture, china, and art
except for, and never, the old photo albums
heavy in padded leather brown and green

Each visit when conversation stuttered to a stall
(Religion all but Baptist drowned
and what use is weather without crops)
out would come the albums
and in we all would dive
for pennies
bright and shiny at the bottom of the pool

Here’s one from 1958
how young the queen looked then



My grandfather came to Canada
trailing the civilities of Europe

Planted ten thousand trees
on the bald-assed prairie

Plenty of produce for a family
and acres and acres and acres
of flowers as well

On the other side of a depression
and the rationings of war
every plant like every animal
on my parents’ ranch
had to pay its way

At our house in Austin
we have only flowers



When the natives of this land
suffered a death such as this
they knew how to grieve

They felt it to the depths of their being
and cut deep into their arms and legs
that they might reach deeper

Today my great friends
I reach and bleed with you

Written for my cousin Kenny and his wife Betty on the tragic loss of their eighteen year old daughter



When I was five we lived on a ranch
still forty miles and forty years
away from electric power

We only got to eat ice cream
when hail lay deep enough on the ground
to be scooped in the old hand mixer

Many a hot evening in August and July
five of us sat on those hard ranch steps
looking out at the Western sky

Watching the black clouds and the grey
building and rolling our way

Silently praying our protestant hail Marys
four for and Dad against