That afternoon at the cabin we sat by the river after I had cut up those small trees that you dropped at my feet with the tractor – (an offering, a challenge, one that I tore through haphazardly with the new chainsaw, black and yellow like a drunken, terrible bumblebee). It was quiet after all … More The Nest (Or, a Father Considers the Odds of Raising Successful Small-Mouth Bass Offspring)
Outside in the drizzle of spring, green, green is the grass – lilacs are tiny purple fists waiting to unfold to again welcome May – once more trotting out its new beginning- with sweet applause; Inside, the window is cracked because of the paint, and you, at the far end of 16, stand without a … More Falling Stars
‘Round the ankles of the birches autumn water gathered, murky – winter held it down til frozen cradled gently in the hollows – skirts of ice surround the low limbs stopped mid-fling by frigid wind embroidered not in poodle, plaid, suspended there, upended, glad – wee peeping frogs, asleep, adorn a petticoat of moss and … More When They Finally Wake in April
Two months shy of a century ago, it’s been raining in France, great sheets snapping like sodden flags across the farmer’s field – And my grandfather’s father, a child of German immigrants, sits down in soldier’s boots, and looking at the crops with a farmer’s eye, writes a few lines to his brother in Barnesville, … More Vire-en-Champagne, April 1919
It’s a Thursday in May after five when I swing into the Piggly Wiggly with two bikes on the back of my SUV, and the dog inside; The woman slicing my deli ham struggles with the wrapper on the summer sausage, limps like her hip is bad, too; she paces, trapped behind the glass cage; … More Crivitz Piggly Wiggly Philosophy
So Mercutio cried – and before and since and ever, the years start over in darkness, the face of the earth turned away from the sun; The calendar is a ragged thread of a winter sweater snagged on a fencepost nail; it’s a ball of yarn spooling out into the future, bouncing across the kempt … More Ask For Me Tomorrow And You Shall Find Me a Grave Man!
I. After we see paintings of the sea, and moonlight, and doom by Winslow Homer, after we work on income tax forms and insurance and eat carnitas burritos and watch Netflix, I don’t feel well, it’s not a bellyache or a hangover or a fever or something that CVS can fix. it’s like this existential … More Wes and Jesus Come up Empty
Late March slumps against Lake Michigan – Cold and brown with patches of crusted snow frozen to the face of the obstinate earth, wind whips the eyes and tears freeze; Perhaps, then, we can be absolved, when watching the mute six o’clock news during the Friday fish fry, Brandy Old Fashioneds in hand, … More Comes Now Spring