The teeth

I dream a dog,
large, yellow, short-chained
to the rear wall of my house,
in sun, rain,
starlight, lunging
and snarling. Its man comes
and goes. I can stand the days,
I say, but at night
can’t you keep it
at yours? He doesn’t answer.
I can’t get past the teeth
to loosen the chain.

First published in PPC Covid Drum 13, June 2020


reading the poems of women
born the same year as my mother
     a homespun hat
     a handloomed cloth
     she’ll leave me
     paintings of cats
     with flowers
     she’ll leave me
     a blanket-stitched potholder
     a gingham apron
unaccountably I fold
into tears

First published in Writ Poetry Review 4, May 2020

If only a woman

If only a woman could get a jacket
     with an inside pocket
     an elegant fit around her broad shoulders
     and sleeves that didn’t expose her wrists
If only a woman could get some gloves
     to neatly sheath her gracile hands
     without webbing
     her long fingers
If only a woman could get some boots
     to let her walk wherever she wants
     without hurting her back
     or binding her toes
The world might be okay, after all, if a woman
     could do that