Snapshot #65

Once upon a time I took hours decorating our Christmas tree. I agonized over which ornament looked best in which spot. I longed to achieve a tree that was worthy of gracing a design magazine. 

My need for the perfect tree took all the fun out of decorating for my kids and Studly Doright, and soon the task of hanging all of the ornaments landed squarely on my shoulders. Like a big old vacuum I sucked all the fun out of what should have been an enjoyable family activity.

Nowadays, few people other than Studly and me even see our tree, and I’ve finally learned that Christmas trees don’t have to be perfectly decorated to be perfect. So I’m calling this one, “The Perfect Tree.”

Notice Scout in the foreground. She worships our Christmas tree. Seriously. 

One Day

Mother, in your life
did we honor your efforts?
Not nearly enough.

Only when you left
could we see your worth, your love
so ingrained was it.

Do we mark our breaths
or the beating of our hearts?
You were everything.

We give you this day
however insufficient
filled with all our love

I miss you, Mom.


Making Memories

Someone should have told me all those years ago

When fevered toddlers ruled the day and all they said was no!

That too soon would they be grown and gone 

And the tasks we hastened through all done

Memories were being made yet I grumbled, griped, and whined

About their childish faults and the endless daily grind.

I had no idea that second chances were not guaranteed

That time would pass by in a flash and my regrets would only feed

On recollections of opportunities lost, never to be regained

My heart aches for the past and the memories we should have made.


Peace, people


left alone with
thoughts unwieldy
too intense for
this bright day
crushed beneath
thoughts of envy
will they always
hold this sway?

gathered close for
future’s telling
slowly ticking in
mad men’s hands
stop the clock and
start the living
mark the place
then heave the sand.

prayed, oh please
don’t let this nature,
keep me wrapped in
sifting through grayed
grainy photos
begging for my
soul’s surcease.

Better Left Unsaid?

a door left wide open, perhaps a precipice.
step right in; leap heedlessly into
the dark abyss.

instead i demurred, chose the status quo,
and now we face the consequence, but how was i to know?

guarded portal closed, shut for all these years,
yet if it should swing wide again i’m bound to face my fears.

your progeny are ill behaved, i’ll say,
disrespectful to all but you;
the interest compounded throughout their lives steadily accrues.

or maybe i’ll just smile and nod, agree with all you say,
waiting there by an exit narrowed, and again, watch you walk away.


Remember When


remember when youth
defined our relationships?
who kissed whom, when, why?

remember when life
seemed suspended in bubbles
of the possible?

remember when love
was everywhere, yet nowhere
for all, even you?

remember when fate
was always to be tempted?
damn consequences!

remember sweetest
softly tangled memories,
joy amid regrets.

remember classmates
underneath crinkles remain
life’s anchors, steadfast.


She passed away
on a sunny
summer Sunday,
not a single cloud
in the sky.
No time for
regrets, tears,
or laments;
only just enough
time to die.

After all these years
And all those tears
With all her scars
And baseless fears
She always thought
Or hoped I guess that
Death might give some
notice, some alarm
at the last.

Instead she smelled
honeysuckle on the
wind and for some
reason heard
the dull roar of
thunder on this
cloudless day.


Aging Gratefully

When I am old
My cheekbones will be
Exquisite reminders of the
Beauty I never had,
My lips will quiver with
Unsaid words:
Unlike some,
I always knew I could
Not stay young forever.
I could always picture
The veiny hands,
Crepe-y skin,
Varicose legs
Beneath my youth.
Now I find myself
Somewhere between;
Not young
Not old,
Past the boundaries of one
On the brink of the other.
If I could I would
Not go back, but
I gladly go forward with
Small apologies for what I
Might have been, but no
Excuses for who I’ve


I Wish

For as long as I remember
I wish has been part of the
Vocabulary shaping me
Shaking me time and again.

I wish I were cuter
Smarter, funnier
I wish I were shorter,
Sported a prettier smile.

I wish I were less awkward
Around members of the
Opposite sex and sales
Clerks in upscale stores.

I wish I’d been a more
Patient mother, less
Cranky, more careful and
Aware of the special times.

I wish I’d been a better
Daughter, sister, wife
Less selfish, open to the
Needs of others.

I wish I’d paid attention
All those times some
Everyday miracle occurred
Right here, right now.

From now on
I wish is
I will and
I am and will be.



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