Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Flaws

On a cold Saturday night, as January comes to a close, I sit in my chair with a blanket across my lap crocheting a new scarf. I'll still need it for another month or so. I've been crocheting for 25 years now and almost mindlessly, my hands move in the rhythm of yarn over, through, yarn up, through, through. Turn. Again. Occasionally I stop and examine my work. Ninety-nine percent is perfect, but here and there I notice a slip—a stitch that doesn't quite meet my standard. I don't know if anyone else would even notice it, but I see it and I know that it's there.

I'm afraid I do that when, as a mother, I look at my child. I don't see the 99%. I see the stitch that I wish I could go back and redo.

Lord, help me to see your handiwork in her life and not my mistakes. Amen.

Monday, January 18, 2010


The wooden screen door thwacked shut and the shouting inside succumbed to the droning chorus of the cicadas. My summer-browned bare feet carried me across the searing sun-softened tar of the black top. At the end of the street, pavement yielded to hard nature-kilned clay veiled by powdered sand. The dust cooled my toes.

I paused to crouch at the small stagnant pond beside the path. Last summer I would have stretched out on my stomach to watch the tadpoles, crawdads and water bugs. Now I am too self-conscious. Even in my over-sized t-shirt I don't want to be reminded of my emerging breasts. Stretching my legs, I trekked on.

Thoughts tumbled as I passed dry, root-bound tumbleweeds and gnarled mesquite trees. The sharp exchange between my parents pierced my mind as I avoided prickly pear cactus. A skittish black tarantula hastened to her hole, safe from the burning heat.

I reached the NO TRESPASSING sign at the base of the earthen dam and climbed past it to the top. I settled on a large rock and scanned the horizon for the muddy lake in the distance. An emerald skink flashed in the brush beside me. I hugged my shins, knees pressed against my bosom. Sighing, I beheld my world in the simmering afternoon.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Iowa Winter

I got this in my email and I just had to share:


65 above zero:
Floridians turn on the heat.
People in Iowa plant gardens.

60 above zero:
Californians shiver uncontrollably.
People in Iowa sunbathe.

50 above zero:
Italian & English cars won't start.
People in Iowa drive with the windows down.

40 above zero:
Georgians don coats, thermal underwear, gloves, wool hats.
People in Iowa throw on a flannel shirt.

35 above zero:
New York landlords finally turn up the heat.
People in Iowa have the last cookout before it gets cold.

20 above Zero:
People in Miami all die.
Iowans close the windows.

Californians fly away to Mexico .
People in Iowa get out their winter coats.

10 below zero:
Hollywood disintegrates.
The Girl Scouts in Iowa are selling cookies door to door.

20 below zero:
Washington DC runs out of hot air.
People in Iowa let the dogs sleep indoors.

30 below zero:
Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.
Iowans get upset because they can't start the Snow-mobiles.

40 below zero:
ALL atomic motion stops.
People in Iowa start saying...'Cold enough fer ya?'

50 below zero:
Hell freezes over.
Iowa public schools will open 2 hours late.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


The feet of crows
lined her eyes

The lilt of laughter
escaped her lips

The shadow of love lines
etched her hands

She departed one day
leaving only memories
of eyes, lips, hands