Appalachian Fall 

Majestic mountains



tipped with frost. 

Light and shadow

dance together

across peaks and valleys. 

Ancient mountains,

these Appalachians… 

looking like

an old woman

wearing a shawl of colors,

thrown ‘round her shoulders.

Broken Twice

This poem is about my daughter, Kate, when she was seven years old.

She was a rough-and-tumble kid.

Always climbing,


            sometimes falling.

Always fearless,

never heeding warnings

or waiting for instruction.

Always wanting to do things

                by her own will

                in her own way

                at her own time.

Today, her cast was removed.

“Only a green-stick fracture,” the doctor said,

when he pronounced her healed.

Today, she was off on her bicycle

            finally cast-free,

            on the move again.

Minutes later,

she appeared at the door,

holding her newly-healed arm.

Another tumble.

She knew what she had done

the minute it happened.

I think she was too mad

to cry.

Stuck on a Memory

In this poem, I am telling on myself.


I find myself

stuck on a memory:

                   the story my mother

                   loved to tell

                  about me and ice cream.

Seems that,

I awoke early one afternoon

from my nap.

Thinking I was down for the count,

Mother folded laundry

at the backyard clothesline. 

I rubbed the sleep from my eyes,

slipped on my sandals, and

wished for something cool

on this steamy summer afternoon.

The logical answer to me was

ice cream.

 I knew the way—just two blocks down my

street to the corner drugstore. 

Mother and I had walked there many a day.

 Mother found out about my journey,

as all mothers do,

when the soda clerk called her to say,

“We’ve got your little gal up here at the counter.

Yep, licking away at a vanilla cone.

Sure, sure.  We’ll watch her ‘til you get here.”

 I don’t know what made my mother madder–

the fact that I walked two blocks and

ordered an ice cream cone

all by myself or

that I did so

in my t-shirt and underwear.

 After all, what does a two-year-old

know about fashion?