Quite content with the alternative

I lay by my wife and felt her fingers,

and then all her bones together –

a skeletal, scary thought

with a cold wind blowing through it –

so I hastened to add the rest,

first the organs and then the

blood and tissues I couldn’t name,

and finally the skin and

mass of golden hair.

But even then she wasn’t herself,

so I started decking her out

with all her qualities, her smile and

hard soft-heartedness,

her way of leaving things

and that twist when she dances.

And how she cooks, with her million recipes,

and curls up in the corner of the couch.

The further I went, the warmer she,

and the drowsier I,

got, and God it’s good

to sleep with her

and not with that bag of bones!


On passing

(the) untroubled younger siblings

playing hopscotch – not only

untroubled, but joyous –

and remembering (being older)

one who had died, one who

their older sister

and brother knew,

and recalling, too,

the once and still

vacant look in their mother’s eyes.

Acorn query

You could draw a straight line

between the branch and the ground,

and a circle around the silence,

with the nut in the middle

(after the flitting, before the thud

and thump).

Or could once have drawn,

for now the nut, uncapped, speaks no more.

It lies crushed in the soil

and the question it raised has pushed

the circle to the size of the world.

My own was the simple, Will it

hit my head? But its I missed.

I know it now as a silence too late.