All the Things We Cannot Keep
Now I lay me down to sleep dream of sunshine, little sheep downy dandelion bed angels dancing ‘round your head Dawn will break before you know bathe the world in scarlet glow one by one the stars they fade as daylight burns the window shade Time will cut the nursery lock restless feet must take their walk leave behind the dusty lap set your compass, draw your map Garden walls shall not constrain hold the clouds until they rain push the wind until it blows keep the seed until it grows Sunrise pinks and palest blue crystal drops of early dew lingering dreams as morning creeps all the things we cannot keep all the things we cannot keep.
What do you want from me?
Fine. Have a seat while I
boil them up
pour them steaming in your cup
then stand back
as you scald your tongue on the hot bitter black
Shall I melt them down like sugar
sticky and sweet
a child’s easy treat?
Or can you handle something more?
Yearning and sore
for the flowing passion
of my underground river
swift and changing current
reaching, wanting, hiding beneath the surface
in fear of your thirst?
You think this is what you want, what you need
but you never see
that I bleed
and that you are the form of every letter.
Beware the Girl in Red
“Go into the wood,” her mama said then dressed her up in velvet red placed a pail into her arms “Beware the wolf. He means you harm.” With tiptoe steps the girl made way and left behind the light of day weak and cautious little bird marched to the tune of Mama’s word Weary after many hours Little Red noticed the flowers blooming off the beaten trail and so she paused to fill her pail. It’s always off the trail, I fear that clever wolves choose to appear Sleek as shadows, swift as wind He blocked her path and sniffed, then grinned “Sweet and delicate little rose,” He purred as the child froze “Don’t you worry. What’s your haste? I only want a little taste.” Through the brambled wood she fled But was no match for Wolfie’s tread He swallowed her scream, devoured her cry Then lifted his howl to the sky He laid the girl beneath a tree and shook his head in sympathy “There’s one like me in every story You wandered in my territory. “All alone, a tempting treat Juicy apple, red and sweet. Beware the wolf – you should have known Foolish child on your own.” As he left her, Little Red yanked the red cape from her head. No more rank humiliation! No more victim of predation! With weapons fashioned from the tree she sat and waited patiently. As wolves strolled by, she took her aim then made a fur coat of her game. Soon wolf mamas warned their sons “Heed my warning, little one for many a wolf has lost his head. You must beware the Girl in Red.”