Mud Puddles

How am I not to write of you?
Or this?
This mess?
I’m standing in your mud puddle again.
You’ve been stomping in it
My whole life.
You raised me here and
Splattered my white dress.
I never got out those stains.
I outgrew the frock
But I never could discard it.
I tore it up and used it in a quilt
With other outgrown things
And hung it inside on my wall
To remind myself that ruination
Can be remade into beauty.
I will take it down
When I come in from your storm.
If you come inside too
I will use it
Maybe to wrap you in
And certainly
To wipe your dirt
Off my feet.

HS 12.5.2016




Eurydice, Eurydice,

I felt what felt like love to me.

Thy form, thy shape, I often ape.

Thy shadow hides inside my mind.

Thy words I still hear in my mouth.

Eurydice, Eurydice,

It used to be  I cherished thee.

The lens of time, a prism fine

Bent love into a different shape.

Then I saw thee differently.

Eurydice, Eurydice,

What can I ever think of thee?

I pity thou, thy heart’s real pain!

Out of thy reach I hide to breathe

What air you’ve learned to suck, to steal.

Eurydice, Eurydice,

Thou are no longer thee to me.

Now down and  down and down away

Into a death thou must descend.

I will not sing to nourish thee.

Eurydice, Eurydice,

I loved thee and I hated thee.

The viper, I, made you a shade.

I will not seek you in your cave.

I trust you not, neither myself.

Eurydice, Eurydice

I mourn thee and I mourn for me,

Confused wraith and orphaned snake,

Our  unanticipated roles.

I know not what we  will become,

When I don’t sing thy songs to thee.

HS 11.30.216


Mother love,

I will not visit.

You left my father.

I feel unsteady.

All my life,

my young girl life,

I wanted nothing

so much as

your freedom from

his poisonous claws.

I am 35.

This altered scene,

a family split –

 the final stroke

that felled

the tender illusion

that some things

don’t change.

I know now

I must eternally adapt.

I will always be

letting go.

I must adjust

to this reality.

The little girl

I used to be

who still loves

an imagined you

woke up again

to witness your


I feel her feelings,

her vulnerability,

the weight of her sadness

in my adult brain.

I won’t hold her.

Not yet.

Her whispers are soaked

in your tears and I

am not quite ready

to cry

for both of you.

HS 11.10.2016

A Morning For Roses

It’s strange to meet November wearing
September’s formal dresses
Of liquid gold maples, rusty oaks and 70 degree days.
I don’t complain.
Who knows why?
Cycles of nature we don’t understand?
Global climate change forced by humans?
At any rate my garden explodes in rose blooms
– one particular variety so fragrant it’s almost obscene.
I only take a moment to capture
The fire
The fuchsia
The baby pink and
The scarlet
Before returning to the comfort of
The warm morning sun
On my white washed porch
To spend time with Mary.
HS 11-6-2016
Rosebud Cottage

I Lift Up Mine Eyes

photo credit Cami Keltch

They rise.

Bastions of the Ohio Valley –

Cliffs of impressive height

with shoulders of limestone.

Follicles of oak and maple, elm and ash

extrude from their stony skin.

Trees along each summit

are  jagged crenelations shaping my sky.


One feels low here,

far from the heavens,

nestled in this geological fortress,

safe in the embrace of those

well-muscled arms of the high hills

encircling my little town

like a protective mother,

or a jealous God.

HS 11-3-2016


Coffee Shop

5am on Mondays I wake

to give 5.5 hours to the world.

I tamp espresso grounds,

percolate drip coffee,

giggle with other baristas,

burn myself on every hot surface.

Regulars arrive and leave.

First names attach themselves to faces.

Empty hands are outfitted in cups.

I’m still learning their particulars

but I can nail a cappuccino and

give smiles more nourishing than food.

The minutes are undependable.

Some wander by comfortably.

Others dash through in messy madness,

cavorting down long lines,

sprinkling brown beans on the tiles,

finger painting with milk on stainless steel.

I do this work for my lover

to help pay bills.

I do this work for myself

to form lighthearted connections.

I do this work for my village

to create warmth in a communal kitchen.

Before the sun rises I ready a room for eat and drink.

I offer kindness knit around service.

Those who share my blood

are across state lines,

hours out of arms reach.

For one day a week,

in my own orphaned mind,

I am family to many.

HS 11-5-2016

Nihilism at 1 AM

I can’t relax.

Shifting beads

Instead of earth

Indent my knees.

I can not rise

From knees to  feet.

No stable ground

for soles to meet.


No shape is still.

All things change.

I cower as

They rearrange.


Chaotic life

Confusing space

Can’t understand

Each person’s face.


Can’t understand

so can not trust.

On pins and needles

Till I’m dust.


HS 11-5-2016