Today I Threw
My Watch Away

Now if anyone
asks the time
I can say
a stanza past
a lyric before
lunch, not
sorry to be
imprecise but
grateful for
the privilege
of an uncuffed
wrist, sprung
from the workings
of minutes
and hours,
mocking tick-
tocking in all
its guises,
convinced that
the sun, even
when left to its
own devices,
gloriously rises.

first published in
The South Carolina Review


Inside Out

Shake winter if you can —
like an old rug in a mudroom
flecked with birdseed waste
once cased in ice that your
boots tracked into the house.

Shake it over snow, so any
tiny, unused seeds can grow —
only to be weeded out by you
in spring when mud’s the
clutter that you bring inside.

Boots, snow, birdseed, hungry
doves, grubby mats, sprouting
plants, mud-caked clogs —
you go from season to season
acquainting and reacquainting

the outside with the inside,
the inside with the out. Do you
doubt the value of this exchange?
No, you don’t — not while
you’re able to heft a rug and

stomp a shoe, listen to birds
chirp, whistle, coo, trill. This
is your part in life: track mud
and waste into the house, shake
the mat, put fresh seed out.

first published in Peninsula Pulse
Honorable Mention, The Hal Grutzmacher 
Writers’ Exposé, 2013