Vaccination Day

We parked in lot 7, as instructed

lined up single file, greyhaired and masked up

outside the humanities building, where no students currently

sit listening to lectures about post-modern anything

instead, there we were, silent captives forced to bear witness

to the indignant cries of the woman

at the very front of the line

broadcasting her position of privilege

how she’d waited and waited for the chance

to come here and stand in the sunshine

rather than risk sharing the same air

polluted by the unsavory horde she saw

lining up across the bay, waiting

for their chance to be saved

 

Later, I sat alone

here in this garden I planted

marveling at whatever

was happening deep inside 

my cells being schooled

by a few drops of miracle

content in this sunshine

till the songbirds grew silent

dismissed by a squawking jay

swooping in rudely, his jeering call

clearing a path to the feeder

 

There’s a lesson here in nature

I’m still trying to unwind

some deep and strange and ugly truth

courses wildly through blue veins

causes scientific breakthroughs

and being first in line

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Announcing Elinormal

Available October 15, 2021.By KATE MCCARROLL MOORE

Click to pre-order:https://cityoflightpublishing.com/product/elinormal/

While skipping lessons at the prestigious ballet academy that her mother forced her to enroll in, 11-year-old Elinor Malcolm meets Indira, a mysterious older girl who encourages her to explore her identity and expand her world. A touch of magical realism infuses their encounters and shapes their relationship. Indira’s influence helps Elinor find a path that ultimately is satisfying for both her and her mother. Friendship, family, identity, and the importance of honest communication and being true to oneself are interwoven themes that create a fascinating tapestry and a very compelling story.

ISBN: 978-1-952536-22-9 (softcover only)

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Actuary

he kept a little notebook

in the locked glovebox

of every car he owned

recording each fill-up

inking the mileage math

 

he kept filled-up ledgers

preserved in his office

alongside longer lists

daily highs and lows

recorded, compared

with relative birthdates

and deathdates

plotting his chances

before they ran out

 

he kept the tank

three quarters full

rotated the tires

counted the change

stopped smoking in old age

started swimming instead

a lifetime accounting

for chances untaken

for wishes unsaid

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Sunday Morning Haiku

the way the light falls

on ordinary goodness

waiting to be shared

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ENVY

I wish I had an owl

a small brown

wide eyed screecher

like the one who’s made a home

on Margaret’s front porch this winter

there he rests, nestled

between paneled ceiling and bricked ledge

nearly invisible, quietly still —

waiting

 

turning his head slowly to watch the indifferent dogs,

the little boy painting rocks on the porch,

or Margaret reading mysteries in the sunlit window

 

waiting for dusk, following moonrise

across treetops, chasing starshine

with a whoosh of wings

 

soundless soloist, stealthy stalker

disappearing into darkness

without a trace, like magic

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Epiphany

Yesterday, while a radical mob

tried to destroy democracy

I baked muffins with the babies

2 granddaughters, in ruffled aprons and diapers

sat at the counter in their high chairs and stirred

beside me, adding sugar, oohing as the eggs fell

dramatically from cracked shells into waiting bowls

counting out the paper cups and

spooning batter generously

 

we waited till the timer beeped

then sat on the floor taking small warm bites

infused with love and berry kindness

holding the rioting world at bay

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Snowday

Winter squall announced itself

by snowplow’s amber lights, streaking

slow across my bedroom wall

by morning, December steeped in stillness

driveway drifts rose three feet tall

neighbor boys broomed backyard rink

I laced up new white skates, as frosty

flakes sustained their silent fall, later

dragging red saucer and sled, answering

snowbanks’ siren call, we spent all day

laughing, ignoring the cold, careening

down hills — wooed by whistling wind

I hold a snowglobe in my mind, shake it till it shimmers

Long winter settles into view, frozen childhood glimmers

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Winter Wonder

Solstice

Brings glad tidings

In the shape of a star

Night sky, bright shimmering prayer

Hope-filled

Nightsky

Planets align, cosmic clockwork

Timeless moon, boundless hope

December bright

Solstice

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Coffee klatch

line of white cars

parked in a polite row

out they step, one by one

clutching oversized satchels

donning freshly pressed denim

and sky-high boots

unmasked and hugging

their privilege close

laughter ringing, high and bright

ignoring the sting & December’s cold bite

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Making Art

Painting by Charles White

My art teacher paints these

virtual cloud lessons

speaking with precision

first, prepare your palette

use a rosemary brush

you must start with the white

then add in some Payne’s grey

above this green tree line

blend using gentle strokes

I do just as he says

my amateur eye sees

what my hand can’t get right

the sky is too blue and

I leave out the old barn

he’s painting a landscape

but as hard as I try

I’m painting a dreamscape

an impressionist scene

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