All that spring I waited
for mail,
riding the city bus for hours
each way to class, then work
and home again to the dreary
apartment where I lived then.
I waited for mail from
out of town friends and
men who didn’t know I was
I waited for mail from another
town or state that said
there might yet be another
chance to live the life
I had intended.

Wild mustard bloomed
in every empty lot across town,
a gift of the rains that flooded
the streets the month before.
I wore a mustard-colored skirt
and sandals that wrapped around
my ankles in my usual custom
of overly wearing the thing
that seems right for the time.

I listened to Blood on the Tracks
and tried to write failed lyrics,
rolling pennies to send applications
for schools that wouldn’t accept me,
a complete waste of time,
but I didn’t know that then.
That’s the problem with all our
solicitations we send out in the
mail, the futility is only apparent
in retrospect.

I waited for a new beginning
and longing to root
without realizing that I already was.

All that spring I waited for mail
walking across town to the p.o. box
all I had then of my own.
that I was.
Remembering /thinking of Faulkner’s
last walk in April, a woman much
younger than himself the last foolish
thing he longed to fling himself at
but she wouldn’t have him. All that spring I waited for mail
that never came.



These days I’m always
what has been lost
how best to get at what
has been dropped
what is possible to get back,
or hold on to,
what (best) to let go.
Flesh that wiggles more
than it should.
Never sure exactly what
has gotten too difficult
to keep up.
I stare at the soiled runners
on the porch rocker, wondering
how I can get at it to clean.

Can I lift the planter box
after the rain.
Will I be able to get through
the whole of cleaning the porch
exhausting a year ago,
when it seems I was stronger.
Can my pained back bend down
to feed all thirty roses?
Up and down with the hose
so they can have the
slow soak they need.
A different spring,
where I tire easily
and read in the afternoon.
Counting back, trying to
remember, and not wanting to
such recent springs
when I did so much.
Curtains and windows and
Uncertain if this is an
aberration –
a temporary setback
or what has come to be my life.