“The Hill” ~ Morristown, NJ

I grew up in a place
maybe not unlike yours

Traveled roads
probably a lot like most

It was heaven
with imitation hardwood linoleum

It was three eternities in church service
( during August, with just one fan)

It was sanctuary
with angsty hallways

It was chicken on Sunday
spaghetti on Wednesdays

It was a bubble
in a melting pot

It was trouble
if you wanted it

It was safety
in numbers

It was comradery
in show tunes

It was neighbors who minded
your manners and your business

It was frenemies who feuded
yet fed your family

It was fine not to like
inexcusable not to love

It wasn’t perfect

It always tried
It never failed


For #WhereILivedWednesday

Head over to Ann’s blog on the last Wednesday of every month for the Where I Lived Wednesday linkup!


ol ‘ man

The Mill, 1964, by Andrew Wyeth 

people speak
of winter
as if it were
an uninvited guest
asleep on
the couch

though he is wont
to lazing about
i do not mind his
the cats make
sport of his snoring

he yawns
scratches and
i make tea
and pour over
seed catalogs

the birds
chirp through
a flurry of braggadocio
they know
a swan song
when they hear one

© 2014-Rene

For Magpie Tales

missing glory

photo by Elena Kalis via Magpie Tales
she was light and magic, springtime laughter woven through her hair
i found her world cluttered and noisy, a place where logic frowns
ambushed, my heart leapt when i heard a bird call, her breath of life

she was a singer of hymns, a joyful, patient sentinel
i was a snare drum, ready to snap at the skip of a beat
i now find myself leeching to the choir, waiting on her voice

she was my cloudship, an ocean, a free spirited ticket to ride
i gnawed away at my tether, she became my new life line
i hold, needing like a child, the loose end of her crimson thread

Rene ~ 2013

sweet tea

being a resourceful human,
decided that the best way of exorcising
the demons of her past lovers
was to describe them using three adjectives

Using her calligraphy set,
a graduation gift from her uncle Ted,
She carefully wrote out each word
on a vellum note card
and tied them up
with a navy blue grosgrain ribbon

She poured herself
a glass of sweet tea
grabbed a box of tools
from under the kitchen sink
and set out into the evening shade of her backyard.
She slid her sandals on her feet
as she scuffed along
letting the screen door slam behind her

Macy, the neighbor’s beagle,
commenced to yapping
as soon as the screen door had fired its warning shot
and continued to keep up the racket
as Emeline strode across the yard.

Hush, Macy,
she said under her breath
She had every right to yap, Emeline thought,
if something rightly disturbed her.
That is why she did not scold her directly.

Emeline knelt down in the grass
and dug into her toolbox.
She pulled out a pair of scissors
and cut the ribbon on the stack of cards.
She scooped up a handful of tacks and
started sticking each despicable adjective
onto the fence that faced her kitchen window.
She laughed as she stuck up the word
it kept falling down

When all was organized,
with the fence looking like the most fucked up
version of the Wheel of Fortune that you
could ever imagine, it started to drizzle.
Emeline retired to her kitchen and enjoyed,
all by her lonesome, a glass of port.
And it was good
“Y’all can just hang out there in the rain all night!”
She cackled, leering at the shameful jumble of words
“But come tomorrow?
I’ma start throwing knives.”

Rene ~ 2013