windows & screens

windows and screens

online classes aren’t his thing
right now he has no choice
sitting on the curb of a shuttered store
sapping free WiFi
eating takeout thai

the check’s in the mail they said
she waits six feet from the box
carrier apologizes with his eyes
behind a homemade mask
maybe tomorrow

he comes home from his shift
waves at his babies through the glass
she left his dinner on the step
he’s sleeping in the garage
it’s just too big a risk

wore my underwear on my face
for the tp run
played human frogger with my cart
made my way to checkout 3
new sneeze guard was installed

if their math is right they’ll be ok till may
up at 4am to beat the online cue
to plead their case
with the unemployment man
more tricks than treats this april halloween

he was on the mend
coming home on tuesday
before he was exposed
now she must say goodbye to daddy
on her damn cell phone

we always visit mom on sunday
no plans for stopping now
we’ll picnic on her lawn
while she eats inside
talking through the cell

never talked to my boss
without wearing pants
bob called them mullet meetings
business on top
party below

they’ve been deemed non-essential
but they’ll find a way
they don’t sing cause they want to
it’s how they survive
as sure as vaccine

they grab their pots and pans
a yellow plastic horn
a ragtag band of voices proud
serenading healthcare heroes
coming home from war

virtual feasting
darkest before dawn

every few days
emerging as groundhogs
from our private dens
6 more weeks of spring winter
coming to an end?

your number

What’s your number?
I can’t recall

What’s your number?
The number of people in your group
The number of feet between your friends

The number of likes your meme will get
The number of rolls you’re hoarding

What’s your number?

Now we’re number one
How’s that’s feel?

What’s your number?

The number of weeks with no paycheck
The number of kids in kitchen school

Let’s visit grandma through the glass
She’s sewing front line supplies

What’s your number?
The number of losses you will accept
The one that feels it was worth the cost
One hundred? Two hundred K?

It’s dollars and sense
Until it’s one of your own

Cancelled funerals
Mourning delayed

We should have known
when Disney went dark

What’s your number?

The number of masks they have left
The number of times he pats his own back

It’s April, fool
This ain’t no joke

Instincts say to do more
They’re asking us to do less

Come to your census
Facts and Fears can coexist

We’re coming together by staying apart

Keep Calm and Carry On

What’s your number?
I’d like to call

battle scar

There’s a bruise on my left knee
That just won’t heal

A battle scar
From autumn last

A time when phones and fuel
Were treasured fare
Reminder of a journey past

A pressure point
A souvenir

Driving home through ground zero
Reminds me there’s so far to go


happy anniversay?

happy anniversary?

there’s no power in the date
it’s just a number
so are 3, 4 and 5
and those mattered a bit

it’s been a year
how are we supposed to feel?
what are we supposed to do?

try and forget

she said, he barely remembers our anniversary! why the hell would we celebrate this?

what’s the appropriate gift after a year?
that would be nice
still waiting on that check

forgive me if I don’t eat the top tier
never agreed to this relationship

after one full rotation

They’re finally home
They couldn’t stay

so, what will You do?

she’ll paint her new walls
he’ll share that new song
she’ll light a candle to remember her mom
he’ll hold his babies close because he can
they’ll share a meal and look at the stars

think I’ll let my grass grow and go to the sea

it’s okay to mourn
or praise
or go about a normal day
because you almost can

the survivor’s rule book blew away
there was no wrong way to start
there’s no right way to remember
no way to forget

You’re here
I’m here
See me
I’ll listen
And we will travel this uneven road



In the cone again
Uncertainty reigns

We have a state of emergency
Shaped like a gun 

Can’t we shoot it away
In self defense?

Standing our ground
Still broken and bare

Overreacting or underprepared?

Can’t bear a rerun
We’ve seen this show

1, 2, 3, Not it
We don’t wish it on you

Our triangle trees still
bowing in awe

A constant reminder
Nature’s one flaw

What if?
Surely not

Mother’s not that cruel

Keep calm and carry on
And on and on



I don’t own a gun
I’ve never really had the desire
I don’t hunt
I don’t shoot skeet
I’ve shot a BB gun, but I don’t own one
My son has a dozen Nerf guns
We played with them yesterday
It was fun
Is that part of the problem?

I’m a soldier’s son
We did not have guns in the house
We were taught that you don’t point a gun at something unless you intend to destroy it

What makes someone
want to destroy people completely?
Innocent people
People they don’t even know

I’d never wanted a gun to protect
my family and property
I have a baseball bat for that
When I was lying in the darkest dark
With no 911
I finally understood
The deep desire to be able to protect my people and property
I don’t want to forget that feeling
That may be key to compromise
I still don’t want a gun
I get it

A few weeks ago I had my first lockdown
Got an emergency text
The word became flesh
We locked the doors and hid the kids
Until all was clear
Then went back to work
Like it was no big deal
It was

I wept for Columbine
I couldn’t process Sandy Hook
Since then
I’ve lost track
Too many to recall

I know people in Gilroy
I’ve been through El Paso
I know people in Dayton
The pain is getting closer
But I can’t feel it

I don’t have the right answers
Not sure I even have the right questions
It can’t be normal to feel nothing
when dozens of us are gone

I care
I no longer feel
And that is what scares me most



My son brought home some seeds
inside a paper cup

We didn’t have much hope for them

My wife and I are famous
for no greenness in our thumbs

But after days of waiting
3 sassy sprouts peeked through

Our morning joy has been
to check on our baby greens

We celebrate each tiny change
in our adopted crew

Debating how much water
Googling how much sun
Celebrating with HomeDabbler

We move them pot to pot
as they outgrow each smaller clay

Some days we find them droopy
Some days we find them tall

They’ve come so far
They have to make it

Too much riding on it all



39 weeks

9 months today

39 weeks

Michael’s children almost due

More than 39 weeps

More than 39 leaks

We’re expecting a rain event today

Depression is topical

Call it tropical or storm

Both have the P, the T, the S and the D

Maybe we’re just recycling those tears

Consuming our own

Don’t sleep where you



And tell me how is your fam?

Less blues on the rooves


His tarp is a sieve

Her attic’s in view

Rents higher than spring breakers ‘02

Stop counting the days

Start clearing the haze

Why do I know it was a Wednesday?




I’ve almost forgotten

The song of constant chainsaws

Choosing between gas or charging the phone 

Seeing stars from my yard

I’ve almost forgotten

What used to be on that corner

Asking over and over, “Y’all okay?”

The quiver in her voice when we finally got through on broken lines

I’ve almost forgotten

I don’t want to forget

I want to forget

I don’t want to forget

I want to forget

I’ve almost forgotten