Friday the 13th

The lady cracks.
She gazes in the mirror,
hears the glass shatter.
A crack.
The fissure follows
a ditch,
part of her
in it.
She stands
tall before a fall.
A receiver, a watcher.
Her eyes track the growing gap.
The crack runs
on a path.
Divides like a leaf vein.
crayon f-
ills in the shape.
Pockmarked. Marbled on the
Trauma. A stone. Age.
Movement sets off an avalanche.
The rift grows
the surface,
the crazing bleeds.
Parts of the woman
Pebbles of glass,
popped corn on the ground.
She looks down.
It’s as if she never existed.
She’s erased.

Time Twist

I charge ahead,
noisy as a horse on pavement,
clumsy as a hedgehog,
in pursuit
of my rambunctious four-year-old
who climbed the backyard fence,
the wily boy escaped.

Busy city traffic—
gravel and cement trucks—
lumber past
our house
in the boom days
of seaside development.
An infant sleeps in her carriage,
a toddler boy
sits on the ground
shoveling sand.

It’s said that God knows
no time
because he’s infinite.
Time ceases,
I think into the past,
grab Georgie’s collar,
yank him into my arms
a minute after
he dies.

Portrait of Push Mower Nana

Blades scythe, clack,
pull into a spinning vortex
whatever gets in the way.
Muscle, gusto, no gas needed.
Stern and no nonsense, that’s my Nana.

Her hands mow in her lap.
Weave holes in socks.
Push needles and hooks, tat lace.
Crochet afghans and shawls.
Knit yarn remnants into elf slippers (everyone in the family gets a pair.).
Sew on Granddaddy’s shirt buttons (he pops them off, flexing his chest.)
Mend torn trousers (wrestling Uncle Albert’s hard on clothes.)
In the chair beside Nana, Granddaddy snoozes.

Nana push-mows their two acres of weeds,
sews clothes better than store bought.
Through the Great Depression,
she keeps her family garden fed,
raises chickens for eggs and meat,
forages for milkweed and dandelion greens,
even brews bottles of dandelion wine.
Lice that dare enter on heads, she ousts,
scrubbed out in a pail of kerosene in the yard.
No bedbug survives the boiling of her laundry.

In dark winter, hens lay few eggs,
not enough for the family.
One bare-pantry day when Uno has no job,
weasels chew into the hen coop.
They gnaw through the soft innards, make a blood lust mess.
The good layers that survive can’t be spared.
Nana serves rabbit soup for supper,
stewed from her daughter’s pets, Peter and Pansy.
Little Alice bawls at the table.
Ordered to eat, she refuses even a bite.
Two hours after everyone else finishes,
Alice is sent hungry to bed.

Aili orders around the universe like a child,
“Behave or I’ll paddle your bloomers.