Rondo Pioneers

Rondo Pioneers

As the Black poet J. Saunders Redding said: The relationship between a people and their history is the same as the relationship between a child and its mother; history not only tells a people where they are and what they are—history also informs us what we still must...
Helping Father in the Garden on a Summer Night

Helping Father in the Garden on a Summer Night

  Swatting mosquitoes in the rhubarb, I watch you pull husky potatoes from the earth. You roll them in your palms and scuff the dirt from their bulging eyes and moony grins. Here’s Mister Potato Head! You hold him high for me to admire. And here’s the Missuz!...
Central Corridor Light Rail Construction

Central Corridor Light Rail Construction

  It will leave nothing. Nothing. The future comes, ripping the asphalt up—black, jagged slabs. It chews and spews and carts away the crud. We’re in its dust, coughing, detoured, irate, squeezing our wheels between blaze-orange drums, while on both sides the...
Dusk

Dusk

Her 80th birthday—“Surprise!” She smiles from the party photo, her last. As a kid, rushing home after ­basketball, barely beating curfew, I’d nuzzle her. I smell her now, rosebud salve and a perfume I can’t recall, but warm and home and Mom.   D. Stephen Elliot...
A Mother’s Hope

A Mother’s Hope

Proud back with a chest high in the air Swaying with desire Never knowing when to bend Afraid to break Walking into the wind Bowing to the ravages of life A life of hurling lessons Mistakes that grow into other mistakes Proud back with a chest high in the air Swaying...
Haircut

Haircut

Fool that I was with my scissors I have nothing left to offer The warm spring breeze   Marcy Steinberg’s classmate at a school reunion once exclaimed, “You’re the poet!” and recited “Haircut,” which she’d remembered since fourth grade—thirty-four years ago. Marcy...