What You WIll Miss (circa 2003)

If you fear the shadow before the bird
You will miss the quiet break of air
As wings glide past treetops stirred

If you listen for the exhalation
You will miss the veritable moment
Where laughter falls, joy’s summation

If you wish on stars preceding darkness
You will miss vain light fading,
Scarcely piercing shadowed forest

If you touch before the skin is bare
You will miss the undulating want
Whispers, waiting flagrant surrender

If you sniff the air for the perfect scent
You will miss rose buds burgeoning, wisps
Of space between flowers redolent

If you send the letter before thoughts are finished
You will miss the longitude of emotion,
Journey from brain to heart to hand diminished

If you wonder why the earth is ground
You will miss ferric tether conjoining
Sand and seasons forged of light and sound

If you pray with voices all too quiet
You will miss irreverent portent, wisely
Evincing truth begot by Science

If you sleep before your time is due
You will miss the freeing of verse, the patter
Of prose, searching tautologies anew


Dust Jacket (from 2000)

Someday I will appear on the back of a book.

Who I am will be splayed on the dust jacket,
the back part, the black and white photo
where my face is cocked sideways
a bit, alluring, leading, longing
quite possibly lounging on a red chair, my right leg
tossed like a sweaty gardening shirt
over the velveteen arm. I look awash in
knowing and concupiscence, alert while
innocuously insouciant, a writer for the times,
the bedfellow my readers confer with or confess to,
magnificent ringleader that I will be, gathering
the hoipoloi around me like a herd
of somnambulistic lions drowsy on blood but
ready for more action.

There will be more than two sentences about me.

Who I am will remind everyone of their own penchant
for some deserved if miniscule prominence
and they will be glad it is I who have attained recognition,
I who have the log cabin in the country
perched beside a working windmill
and naturally-occurring pond where I live prosperously
with my husband, an artist
and two children who read beyond their ages.

The masses will memorize me.

Who I am will percolate and permeate synapse and cell,
skin and soul. My incendiary words will be etched
like a child’s initials in freshly poured concrete,
for infinity even after sleep marks the end of the rhyme.