Memory of Love

Jun 19, 2016 by

Coming in the door after school, The smell of fresh baked bread Blew over me like a gentle breeze, And there on the kitchen counter, The loaves my mother had spent hours making. She would cut us thick slices, And spread on the butter We had churned that weekend. Sweet cream, melting into the Still warm bread. I would close my eyes And take a bite of...

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The Walk

Jun 18, 2016 by

Hand in hand we walk up the main avenue of the orchard. This corridor divides pears from apples, and we sample the sugary crispness of both. My daughter cradles her newborn son in a sling across her heart. Though fresh from birthing, she strides confidently through the familiar fruitwoods that surround the small cottage where she lives. Laid out in neat lines, this fruit-growing forest rolls up and down the gentle hillsides. Tall grasses lie drying like hay after the field workers have ridden their mowers up the avenues and around the sturdy trunks that budded into fruit bearing limbs. It’s harvest time in Hood River County. Fertile orchards that fan up from the mighty Columbia buzz with the voices of Mexican men and women who make their living en las huertas. Today their Spanish chatter creates a pleasing sound...

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The Hour of Resurrection

Jun 17, 2016 by

The tangled web of naked oaks Bathed in early morning light, Cuts jagged faces in a sky of peaches and cream. My Lad is gone. He was my pillow Until three AM, when barking savage He thundered after the coyotes of Luna Butte. I arise from hard earth to greet the morning. What is this great cry inside my breast? My winter heart is melting fast Breaking into light, or music, or water. A spring burbling within Welling and spilling, cool and fresh. My throat longs to sing In the tongue of the meadow larks My tongue longs to taste Dewdrop fingers of grass My fingers long to cling to sticky sap of pine, as I climb Into the secrets of the air. My heart is a tree, Branches inching into Heaven Roots inching...

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Precipice

Jun 16, 2016 by

I want a love that loves like a verb, that has action to the other side of longing. A love that can take what’s there, see through the layers and love what it sees. A love that is a lifeline to truth. I want a love that can laugh in the middle of broken pieces. A love that knows I’m sorry, confidence to be wrong, willingness to want. A love that makes things possible instead of making excuses. I want a love that never stops, like waves through temperature of sky and anger of clouds and shrieking of birds and small human dramas. A love that knows itself. A love that is God made flesh, human and messy. I name what I want in order to know it. I summon the courage to take my place at the table. Can I...

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Despair and Hope

Jun 15, 2016 by

I heard you get in around midnight. The dogs did their due diligence then scrambled back in bed. I dozily called out and you said, “Goodnight. I love you, mama.” I love you too, Tay.” Always let those be the last words you say to the ones you love for they may, indeed, be the last words. I did not see the despair. How did I miss that? But I felt it today. Despair when I found your body trying to die. Despair as I held your seizing body and could only think, “Airway. Airway. Airway.” Despair as I fumbled the phone with one hand thinking, “911 – goddammit, that’s all you have to manage.” Despair as the line rang while I repeated my address over and over in my head so I wouldn’t...

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After Dam Decommissioning

Jun 14, 2016 by

I remember resting in wooden chairs while vain trees primp in your reflection I remember paddling your smooth turquoise waters and frisky mergansers, feasting on shallow trout I remember anticipating the ospreys’ return each spring and soaring eagles above Douglas fir tree tops I remember swinging from your steep bank and plunging into your icy depths I remember seeking refuge in your silent stillness. But one October morning one hundred years of tranquility shifted into magnificent motion. We watched you drain and take the earth with you. We watched your layered bottom, powerful concrete lava, head-cut up the river, building a canyon. Once again, trees sway eighty feet above unleashed water Once again, glorious torrents replace quiet pools. Once again, salmon, white with experience, spawn in your sediment Once again, the Yakima people dip...

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