Parenting Pain


No longer mine – can’t carry you anymore,

you’ll stumble, fall and eventually – soar,

As your path widens and grows long,

I realize how I was so very wrong



You take your steps while I watch

sometimes wincing

Your self-determination can be dreadful

yet entirely convincing

It’s fast becoming apparent

that your flubs and whims aren’t errant

You don’t own reasons for my heart breakin’

for I never “owned” you, in that, I was mistaken



It was a pitted day

where little was fit or fulfilled,

peace and calm rose as sunset

but not too rightly willed

a desire to escape (!)

from noise, doubt and sorrow

I began the screen event

with little thought to morrow

but conscience tugged at my brain

here sat the binder full of work

you promised me  – the voice said –

this endeavor you would not shirk



The Abandon of Advanced Age



When I am a woman of old,

I shall never do what I’m told.

I’ll walk in puddles of deep muck,

and never give a flying…care.


To the ice cream parlor I’ll shuffle,

and wolf down a chocolate truffle.

For hours and hours I’ll sit,

and never, ever give a…care.


With my sister, we will hang glide,

and bi-monthly, we’ll scuba dive.

I might be on a crime program,

but I really won’t give a…care.








Summer High School Job


canning fact’ry, sister in tow

third shift hours drove us loco

summer work to save some money

storing corn at the Del Monte


fingers smashed in the fast belt line

lead to chain of annoying whine

working among grown men, we pine

for sleep and food and all things fine


at last the summer job has closed

mom serves us corn, sister opposed

her first crush – a man ! –  undisclosed

and now, for us, hard work is prosed











A 15 Year Old Poem (Home)


Home was Tammy Wynette singing twangy about d-i-v-o-r-c-e,

and Lionel Richie on my small radio, under blankets at night.

Airmail from Sunchang and mom’s lonely tears on the kitchen floor,

the wailing of Korean soap operas mingled with Fonzie’s voice.


Home was sex, drugs and rock n roll knocking on the door,

while Lawrence Welk swayed elegantly in the living room.


Home was as long and drawn out as the Mississippi River,

as sweet and sad as my first kiss with Torin, a black boy

who whispered “pretty young thing” as we stood on the porch.

My brother asked, “I saw you kiss him, did he use his tongue?”