• Carla

All Weather, All Ways

Colorful and Sure

Arise, my heart, from the flower bed

where your seeds are sown

with cheerful rain and sweet refrains

quenching your thirst for things unknown.


Arise, my heart, and the day is yours,

as certain as the sun

will warm us all until nightfall

and the moon will light you home.



The Ogre

Your face is green when you look at me.

In fact, I find myself a bit queasy,

now that you mention it.


I keep trying to figure what I did to succeed

in making you be so mean to me.

I obviously haven’t yet.


When you come around, I keep my nose clean,

begging you to go and leave me be.

You obviously haven’t yet.

So, while my stomach sinks down below my knees,

right to my generically sneakered feet,

I refuse to let you see me sweat.


Because, lately, I’ve hidden and watched and seen

that you seem like maybe you’re lonely.

So, I decide to do something you’d never expect…


and march across the playground over to you,

fingers crossed that I won’t regret it…


Sticking out my hand like the branch of a tree,

I ask if you want to be friends with me,

and, to my huge relief, you accept.



3 O’Clock

The familiar vroom

of the mail truck

in the afternoon

brings delight

with a side of mystery.


It’s alright if

we’ve only gotten

fliers or bills

because, sometimes,

that’s life.


My favorite days

are those when

the post comes

for some other someone

I’ve never met.


I press love

like a stamp

on the envelope

with gratitude for

our shared address.



One-Way Signs

Smile, check. Nod, check.

They’ll think what they want.

Wear that dress, make your mess.

Drop that shit and move on!

Let them say you’re purple.

Let them think you’re pink.

You know you are mauve,

so give them a sassy wink!


Smile, check. Nod, check.

They’ll think what they want.

Eat dessert, go ‘head and flirt,

even with no makeup on!


They don’t make the rules.

They don’t get the final say.

Can’t destroy your joy—

invent another way to play!

Smile, check. Nod, check.

They’ll think what they want.

Don’t explain, ride your train!

Let them wonder while you’re gone.



The Insomniac

She’s a stump,

small and watchful,

a mouse

with ever-moving eyes.


She’s a mug,

clutched by two hands,

drank down

in only one big swig.

She’s afoam,

untrusting and unfit,

a dog

fighting the dead of night.



So Much

There’s a lot I want to say, but I hold my breath like a toad

and slash the tires so the air’s out any time I head down that road.

This thorn in my side’s exacerbated by the heavy load

that I refuse to light the fuse on so I won’t explode

or worse, curse myself and cause my own implosion.

So, I let it go and resist the downshift into survival mode again.

But I hate that the state of our affairs makes my children cry.

I die a little when they look at me and ask me, “Why?”

The look in their eyes keeps me up at night

as I explain to them that I’ve tried—that I’ll keep trying.

Still, I can’t deny that time apart helps me get my feet under me and prepares my heart

for the onslaught of triggers that we both dance around

like land mines, until one of us picks the wrong spot on the ground.


It all disintegrates in the wake of the debate

the jury of our years keeps bringing up like everything’s at stake.

I don’t know about you, but I’m willing to wait

for the times we had to fight for our lives every day to dissipate

or at least for the pain of growing up to ease up so it’s not so great.

There’s so much that I want to say, but the lock’s jammed on my gate.



Peace and War

Birdsong plays over the airwaves and green things are making their way.

Bursts of blue hold me captive as sunny days overtake the gray.

There are no shattering shells or calls for ceasefire as spring invades our land.

But a falcon swoops to grab its meal and I seek to understand


what it is to persevere in the clutches of a predator

because liberty and human dignity are under attack overseas by a warmonger.


It is quiet here, the month of March has come in like a lamb.

But disallowing a tyrant’s power to grow rests in collective hands.



If You Don’t Play

What impossible luck

this is,

to tumble with flair,


deceived by the umbrous

rim of

the next step ahead


and my weight, thrown backward,

making

the winning basket.



Thank you for joining me. I am so glad you’re here!

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