Last night I read one of my poems for the first time, behind a microphone, at a poetry event in downtown Des Moines. There was a large gathering, more so than I’d expected. The crowd was diverse, eclectic and punctuated with young folk, some high school age, most in their twenties and thirties. A few oldsters such as myself were in attendance. At 60, I had to wonder if I wasn’t the oldest person in the room. No matter. It was exciting to see so many young people, ardent devotees of the written and spoken word: the beauty and angst of poetry.

The readings were, in large part, tributes to the cadence of hip hop and rap, speaking universal themes of love, discovery and acceptance with a few jabs at the current administration thrown in for good measure. And while there were some very good offerings, I cannot help but wonder how these young talents might translate to broader topics, interests beyond transgender discrimination, rape culture and lesbian love. An observation, mind you, not a critique…

As for my own experience, I was only a little shaky. I belong to three groups, two of which are devoted to the process of writing, the other to poetry. Each is unique in both their format and their focus. All are made up of wonderfully gifted and interesting individuals. Sharing my poems and writing is somewhat the same at these venues, sans the microphone and stage. At our group gatherings, we sit around a table, made up of known and friendly faces. Quite different from standing slightly elevated with dozens of pairs of eyes sitting around the room before you. But – doable, indeed.

It was an interesting evening, something quite different from the basketball game we’ll attend tonight, to be sure! I enjoyed myself and hope to engage in a repeat performance.

I [heart] you lovely husband
curled up together in our stretched out recliner
cheek to breastbone
loving the sound of your labored breathing
as we both struggle to stay awake
watching Saturday Night Live
all cozy and such
knowing we should untangle our wayward limbs
and hobble down the hallway to the waiting warmth of bed
but this feels too good
to let go of it just yet.

Daily Prompt: Cozy

Confession may be good for the soul
but there are things I cannot tell you
secrets that might shatter your heart
atrocities that occurred a lifetime ago
opinions that are mine alone
things that today matter not in the least.

And besides: whose soul are we talking about here?

or mine?

Yours doesn’t need the pain
and mine needs only my own absolution.

And that, my love, I’m working on in my own sweet time.

Daily Prompt: Confess

On the 13th of December, an XPressPay invoice email appeared in our Inbox. My husband, Bill, uses XPressPay to pay our Norwalk utility bills. Nothing unusual here except I noticed the subject line on this particular email (which I chose not to open and read so as to not ruin the surprise anymore than seeing this had already done!) read 2018 Dog License Application.

Holy Cow! I thought. Bill did it. He got me a puppy!! We’d just seen a gorgeous cock-a-poo a few days earlier while walking at Gray’s Lake. The owners gave us the breeder information and later that day Bill made the comment ‘maybe we should get you a puppy’. I said nothing at the time so when I saw this email my heart soared!! OMG. A puppy!!

I started to prepare myself for impending puppyhood. I read articles and posts about the first 24 hours home, the first few weeks & months and how to train, feed and care for my new puppy. I was STOKED and looking forward, although somewhat anxiously, to opening our home to a new companion.

Christmas morning – crickets.

I waited patiently, wondering how Bill was going to spring it on me. Was he going to give me a dog leash or the license tags wrapped in shiny Christmas paper? Or maybe he’d wrapped the crate we’d use to bring our new puppy home from the breeder. Bill said nothing. At noon we headed to Kent & Kim’s for dinner and gifts. Perhaps he would present me with the accoutrements of dog ownership there when we exchanged presents with family. Or – OR!! Maybe Kent & Kim actually had my new puppy waiting for me at their house!! OMG. My tummy was doing flip-flops. I was nervous, excited and anxious.

We get there. The house was pretty quiet. No furtive glances. No coy looks. No puppy sounds emanating from the basement (maybe that’s where they had him?!?) I continued to wait. Lunch was a little delayed so we decided to open gifts before we ate. OMG. Here we go!! I waited. And waited some more. And then – it was over. Time to eat.


What the heck?!?!

Later in the day, Bill and I sat off to the side on the couch in the living room, family busy elsewhere in the house. Quietly, I told him about the email and wondered out loud ‘what gives?!?!’ Bill had no idea what I was talking about. “Dog license? You think I bought a dog license for someone?” Then: “Oh. You thought I got YOU a puppy?” He truly had no idea what I was referring to. Finally, I realized he was sincere. He felt bad. No, he hadn’t gotten me a dog. “Let’s go get you one tomorrow”, he said. “If you really want one.”


No puppy. Somehow a huge mistake. I don’t know why we got this email. When we got home late last night and opened it up to read it, all that it contained was a blank application form. NO clue as to why they sent it.

This morning I told my husband that maybe winter wouldn’t be the best time to get a puppy. We’ll revisit this discussion come spring.

Sigh. No furry little friend – for now.

And still, I wait…