James madison park on a saturday

april warmth settles on the lake like an oil spill,
finger-clouds like two small hands covering
six p.m. sun, a game of peekaboo.

the round calved legs of children
making rings in the water –
the world smoothed down to two blocks of lakefront.

either a child’s plaything – a football, maybe –
or a dead duck – body hard against the water’s little licks –
floating an unretrievable distance from shore


Porch steps

perched on porch steps
in not-yet summer
he’s picking out notes from between
my teeth and laying them across
the strings of his well-loved Martin.

I’m watching his mouth never close
and his body rock-
easing in and out of comfortable territory,
while I try to transpose
his cloudy chords into poetry.

40 and Sunny 

Muddy sidewalk pools

Cracks filling with ice kissed puddles 
Snow receding like soldiers 
Defeated on the battlefields of our frozen grounds 
Lake bristling against March sun’s tentative fingers 
Groping the firm 6 inches
Of spikey snow and crumbling crystals, the 
Thaw descends.