MONDAY, 1975

Cold bed,
rain smears the window,
breathes the blue room gray.
He slipped out of my sleep again.

hangs washed diapers on the wind,
runs in the backyard exorcising energies
till Paul accepts a nap,
Ann succumbs to a belly of milk,
I gulp my ration of silence!

unless it rains.


Probably a tenth of all Americans say they were once Catholic.

They were Catholic children once,
processing up the aisle for First Communion,
trembling in the confessional.
They were the shepherds and the angels in the Christmas play.

They learned that helping the poor is good.
They learned that war is bad.

They heard about Jesus’ parables: the sower and his seeds, the treasure buried in a field, the wise and foolish virgins, the woman who put yeast into three handfuls of flour and it bubbled up into bread dough, and pretty soon she had some nice big loaves of bread.

And they probably remember something of St. Paul.
“When I was a child, I spoke as a child. I understood as a child. I thought as
a child…”
They have outgrown the catechism.
They have moved beyond.

But one tenth of all Americans can bubble up a lot of good;
they are a formidable chunk of yeast.


Outside my kitchen window
icicles are melting,
each at its own pace.

The drip-drip-drop nervous one
in the middle
breaks through the others’ peace.

They have lived here three days.
Snow from the sky
fell on my roof, then melted when the roof
got warmer than the air.
Icicles were born, grew strong and long.

Clinging to a gutter, they are
caught between earth and sky.
Strong and long, and on their way to gone,
their lifeblood falls on evergreen bushes.

The nervous one is slowing down.
Ice turns to water,
water to vapor,
vapor returns to sky.