Thursday, October 08, 2009

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Please visit me at my new blog:
wide path poetry

See you there...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

mid-August,
our second winter:
will the water
in the garden hose
ever run cool?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Memorial Tattoo


This past Memorial Day my son Zane went with our friend Scott and his daughter to catch tadpoles. Scott is a city-employed hydrologist and had a certain pond in mind at a local park. The kids were thrilled to see it alive with tadpoles. Zane brought back a jar full of these small, black babies and dedicated to raising them properly, we moved them into a crystal bowl filled with room temperature spring water, a large pink rock, a plastic frog and a microwaved piece of spinach for food. They thrived for weeks before we noticed one had sprouted legs…then arms…then, within a couple of days, lost its tail and became a new frog.


We moved the small frog, still the size of a tadpole, into a habitat with more flat, dry space onto which he could jump. I warned Zane not to play with it but he couldn’t resist— the poor little guy didn’t last the night. I gently told Zane the news in the morning and he sobbed, “But he was the first one to turn into a frog!” as if it had supernatural powers. Downstairs, getting ready for the day, Zane requested that I make him a special pancake. It didn’t come out the way I intended as I tried to make it look like a frog from the side, but pancake art is rarely precise. It was more of a rear end view. Zane ate it without any remorse. After all, there were a dozen more tadpoles to watch.


Later that day, at work, someone in my office created a sign and happened to choose a border from Word clip art that astonished me— it was my pancake! It did have decorative elements my pancake lacked, like a long, curving tongue and a filigreed lily pad, but the frog was exactly the same shape. I immediately copied it in an email to my husband Chris and noted that it would make a cool tattoo. He agreed and I was determined to have the frog tattooed on my back that weekend. Getting a tattoo wasn’t such a rash decision. I considered getting one to cover a scar on my foot and I had researched the best places in town. Everything I read or heard from people with tattoos was that getting one on top of the foot was a bad idea— it would fade easily from the constant friction of socks and shoes and would be very painful as the foot bones are so close to the skin. During my research I visited the busy Southside Tattoo parlor and liked them; I lined up an appointment for Saturday afternoon.


Once there, I found myself perched on the edge of a massage table, leaning over my legs with the waistband of my shorts pulled down. The room was decorated with tattoo art and a sign which read “No Crybabies Allowed.” Michael, my artist, cleaned the area of my lower back with rubbing alcohol and shaved it with a disposable blade. He applied the transfer he made of the frog and got to work. Before he began, he asked me if I took Lamaze classes with my husband and that I should just breathe through the pain— I told him I had a c-section. But it was good advice. I breathed and meditated through 20 minutes of searing line work before he did the filling in which wasn’t as painful. Perhaps because I wasn’t a crybaby he gave me some special cleanser for free along with the ointment I bought and had to apply four times daily for two weeks as the tattoo healed.


It’s been almost three weeks and my frog tattoo has stopped peeling and itching. I can go swimming, finally. During this time the other tadpoles have gotten fatter and one or two have grown legs but Zane isn’t as interested. For his birthday we gave him a pair of mice.


Sunday, August 13, 2006

unable to see
the moon, just its radiance
I feel your fever,
think why being a mother
is always hardest at night

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

black-capped birds
chase through the branches.
I wait for your return
with a glass of rosé,
this apology

Read more at http://www.modernenglishtanka.com

Saturday, August 05, 2006

cakes rise as
icing on the counter
loosens up


not knowing when
your gift begins
and ends, I thank you


I sit till my feet
tingle— then I sit
until I forget