Sample work from Approximate Tuesday, Strange Beauty and my current in process manuscript, working title Ebb & Flow.


Small Corner


I sense the weirdness of time passing


and see how small

my place in the world is.

But this does not make me

feel unimportant.


I am vital to my small corner.


It could not be what it is

without me.


And that corner is plenty.


We would all like

things to be simple

but that is not really

what happens here.


At times I would like to write

pages and pages of my sorrow,

but I am not sure what else,

what different, I could say.


The grief is still here. 

It is unaffected by my efforts.

Its depth varies from day to day,

but it does not leave.


I don’t know what other way to say it.

The doctor speaks to me slowly

so as not to alarm me

the way she would speak

to a scared animal.

I wish I didn’t appear

to require such gentleness.


But I will take what kindness I am given.


I arrive home to a cool house

amidst the early summer heat,

a happy husband

marinating the chicken,

cats purring in their sleep,

and bright flowers in bloom

in the front yard.


Who says this isn’t magic.


Wild Carrot


Some days hope

feels like the

dirtiest of words.


Like the word that

will bring the most

sorrow of all possible



So I keep quiet

not letting it overtake me

or wriggle its way deep inside.


It’s so easy to mistake

a simple feeling

for a complex intuition.


To see meaning

when there

is none.


From here I can

see how each

painful step

was necessary

and how the timing

was oddly



As if there had been

a plan all along.


I think tonight I will

bake some bread

with the flavor of

wild carrot.





The nurses touch my skin

asking questions about each mark

a cat scratch I tell her as gentle fingers

touch a rough patch on my left arm.


Her skin is so soft,

the tips of her fingers

the way only an old woman’s

can be, softened with age and care.

Who won? she asks

and I smile, unsure of what to say,

nervous, because I am

about to be cut open and

because who really ever wins?


I wake in a recovery room

less confused than I expected.


For a moment I am alone

and I think of the sterile

walls and hall ways and

how not all growth is good

how even a well-meaning cell

can go wrong

and how I will not mourn

the small pieces taken

from my body that day.


The surgeon enters with a smile,

large and uncharacteristic 

and I wonder if the day she cuts

into people is her favorite of the week.


It all went well, she says,

along with words like messy

and extra time, but overall, well,

and leaves me with something

definite and definable.


She leaves me with a reason

and after so long without one

I am euphoric.


I may also be a little drugged,

but the emotion seems authentic

and I do not argue.


Instead I eat my applesauce and

write in my small brown notebook

and wait for the healing to begin.


Approximate Tuesday


On this approximate

Tuesday the only

place I find myself

content is outside

in the rain, hands

dirty, repotting

the plants.


Need makes me

unable to see

clearly, so


I pay the doctor

$400 to feel

like we are doing

something -

besides just sex.


Like hoping that

the promise of

rain is enough to

keep your flowers

from dying. It

won’t work

for long.


I arrive home to

find you in the

backyard playing

with fire. You

invite me to join

you, and of course

I do.


The brave act of desire

Some days are so long

and each tiny sin pounds

upon me like a heavy rain.


I don’t know what comes next.


We lose pieces

of ourselves out

in the world

then come home

and try to gather

ourselves back



When I arrive


you are in

the backyard

on the tractor



You are clearly delighted

and though I want to relish

my bad day, your smile infects.


Later in the

darkness I tell

you how my hopes

make me afraid.


How I have felt it

before, and the loss

that comes after.


We discuss the brave act of desire.


The warmth of

summers coming

makes me want

to drive our country

roads with the

windows down,

red hair swirling,

singing loudly

to the radio.


Though I am

comfortable with

the ridiculous,


I know that this


takes practice

and I cannot

hope to arrive

without it.