Peanut Butter Without Any Bread

And how when I turned my head this morning to back the car out of the driveway, I caught a glimpse of a brilliant purple crocus blooming atop a pile of rusty oak leaves.

And how sometimes there is a goat loose on Highway 80 near that low dip in the road after the straightaway so watch out ‘cuz it just blends right in.

And how the Dude Ranch pastures its horses just down the road every winter, and how those rugged mammals in their winter coats wait like statues at the corner of the field for the first rays of sunlight.

And how I keep hearing Michael Stipe reading Jack Keroac’s “Our Gang” in the back of my mind, like some poet-ghost drawing circles in my head.

And how the rocking chairs smell of a man’s body odor when left in the sunlight too long, how this makes it awkward for houseguests, how I’m not sure what to say when they inquire.

And how this morning the mountains had a line drawn horizontally across them, as if a painter had hijacked the night, separating my world of deep green-black hemlock from the snow covered icy world just a few hundred feet higher in elevation.

And how sometimes, when my mom purses her lips tightly without knowing it, she looks just like Nana did when she was dying of cancer, lips pursed tightly around the end of a bendy-straw, sipping a Hagen-Daaz Coffee ice cream milkshake not because she had an appetite, but because she wanted to have a milkshake with me, her granddaughter.

And how dad really does look like an Italian Santa Claus sometimes, when he turns his head just so and wiggles his eyebrows while peering at me out of the corner of his eyes to push my buttons.

And how Britt knows just what to say when I call her in turmoil about the byline in a recent anthology acceptance, how she helps me play the cards just right so I don’t pass up this opportunity to be published in AN ACTUAL BOOK.

And how I can listen to her on the phone in her Type-A manic mode, knowing that it gets the best of us sometimes, remembering what it feels like, trying to help her clear her plate to get back to the ever important tasks of being the dazzling poet-mom that she is.

And how some ideas just don’t have a beginning or an end, but just a middle that keeps growing and growing, swelling like the sea then evaporating onto the page, landing in sentences and images, thoughts and words, formed or unformed, with any embellishment, for all the world to see.

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