Young Love

They lay together

Silent, Still

Not talking, just absorbing

Each other’s presence

And she knew.

She could smell his cologne

Woody and Strong


She liked it

And didn’t at the same time.

Liked it simply for its pleasantness

Disliked it for reminding her

He was growing up

Growing away from her.

His hand grazed her leg

With purpose, she knew

But when she turned

To look at him

He snatched it away


She continued gazing at

His friendly, familiar face

The brown eyes with dark long lashes

She loved to touch gently

When he kissed her.

His hand returned to her thigh

As she began studying

His pink mouth

Lips always ready for a scowl

Pointed, almost, sharp

With everyone else

But not her

With her they laughed,

Teased, and smiled

They were soft and

She liked no sensation better

In the world

Than his lips pressed firmly

To her neck.

Now his hand casually drifted up

And came to rest

In that crook where leg meets hip

She didn’t dare move

And scare him off

She loved his hand on her

Anywhere on her.

When she didn’t push him away

He titled his head towards hers

Examined her face like

She had his

“Whaddya think?  Will we

Make it forever?”

She laughed

A painful, heartbreaking laugh

And his mouth lit up

In that smile he reserved for her

“Don’t laugh, I’m serious.”

But she knew he wasn’t

Knew this was their goodbye

Their bittersweet ending.

They’d kiss and hug at graduation

Maybe even make love

To celebrate.

They’d write letters,

Send emails, and place long distance

Phone calls

For the first few months of school

And then they’d gently

Fade Out

Drift further apart.

This moment was the last real one

She’d hold on to him

As long as he’d let her

But she knew.

The Third Wheel

It drags along



Behind its brothers

Wanting to give assistance

But unable to

It squeaks

And rattles

Yet is neglected

When its brothers

Receive repairs

It tries to

Pull some weight

But  is never successful

“Come along,”

Its brothers cry,

“We don’t need your help

So just enjoy the ride.”

But it doesn’t

Enjoy the ride

It’s miserable

Feels left out



A Blank Page


A blank page

Full of possibilities

Like my life

What will I do

With it?

Will it go to waste

Like my life?

Or will I

Create something beautiful

Something meaningful.

The pen hits

The white canvas

Smearing ink

Forming letters



Will it become

Anything worthwhile?

How often have

I done this

Very thing

Sat quietly


Whether I’m enough

If what I write

Is enough,

Good enough.

How often have you?

The words

Are repetitive

Filling the page

No longer blank;

A full page

Loses possibility

Is that why

I’m afraid?

Afraid to ruin it

With mediocre ramblings.

I don’t want

To lose

The possibilities.

What am I

But full of options

Full of ideas

Full of promise.

What is the page

When I can

No longer

Add ink?

What happens to

Its possibilities

If I rip it up,

Toss it in the trash,

Burn it?

Do I die with it?

What has happened

To my possibilities,

Where did they go?

I don’t remember

Ripping them up

Throwing them away

Burning them.

Yet, I can’t

Find them.

I’m afraid

They’re gone

And no amount

Of blank pages

Can bring them back.

My Father

My father is a quiet man.  A strange man, I suppose.  He finds pleasure in few things: beer, fishing, watching sports on tv.  I often feel sorry for him because I don’t think he has any friends and I’m not sure if he’s very happy with his life.  But I also love him, very much.  The way only a daughter can love her father.

We’ve always had a different connection than he has with my other siblings.  The joke is that I’m his favorite child, but I think over the years the joke has grown less and less funny as my siblings regard him less and less.  Which also makes me sad.

Right before or right after I was born, my father was laid off from his job, so my mother became the sole breadwinner of our small family for a short time.  She went to work while he took care of my older sister and I.  Of the four of us, I was the only one who he primarily cared for during infancy.  Our family thinks this is where our special bond comes from.

I have no memory of this time of our lives, obviously, but there’s a story Mom loves to tell.  My older sister was between two and three, I was under one, and Dad was making cookies in our small Buffalo apartment.  Just the thought of Dad making cookies is pretty funny- he’s really not the domestic type at all.  But anyways.  He was making cookies, but left the apartment for a few minutes to retrieve a load from the laundry room across the hall.  When he returned, he found the door shut and locked. My sister had locked him out.

I don’t know if he panicked thinking of his young daughters all alone in the apartment with the oven on, but I’m inclined to say he didn’t.  He probably kept his head- he isn’t one to panic normally.  I don’t know who he called, or how (this was before cell phones) but eventually he got back into the apartment, where he found my sister and I shut in a closet, my sister playing school with me as if I were her very own baby doll.  I imagine he was relieved we were there, safe, but that isn’t part of the story, so I can’t know for sure.  It would ruin it to ask.

There aren’t a lot of memories of my dad from my childhood.  He worked, Mom raised us.  Mom did the girl scout troops, the PTA, the class trips and awards ceremonies.  But I remember every Christmas morning- my siblings convincing me to wake Mommy and Daddy up so we could open presents because Daddy wouldn’t get mad at Me.  And fishing- on Lake Erie in a boat with my dad, my cousin Erin, and my Uncle Jim; and on the banks of a lake at a park near our home in North Carolina.  I raced my brother back to the parking lot one time, tripped and skinned my knees so badly I still have the scars.  My dad put me in his newly remodeled Chevy pickup truck and drove to the nearest gas station, holding napkins against my knee.  He cleaned the wound with cool water from a pump outside the station’s store, gently, like my mother would have if she had been there.  And I remember hiding his cigarettes because I hated his smoking.

My friend, Myron, used to ask me if my father worked for the CIA, because he was never around, never involved like my mother.

I remember a t-shirt I had in kindergarten, “Daddy’s Girl,” it said.  Black fabric with white block letters.  I wore it to an outing, some sort of party at my teacher’s house where we played Duck, Duck, Goose.  My mother was there.  I don’t think Dad was.

I remember finding a similar shirt when I was older, middle or high school age.  It was also black, but with purple, glittery, cursive lettering also reading “Daddy’s Girl.”  I imagine he has no idea I ever possessed any such articles.

I don’t know if this is coming out right.  I never doubted his importance in our family circle.  I never resented him for not being “more involved.”  He took care of us the way he knew how- by working and bringing home a paycheck.

My biggest memory- the best- the one I’ll cherish for the rest of my life, the one I’ll remember one day when he’s gone, is the day I graduated college.  My parents, sisters, and grandmother drove to Wilmington, attended the awards ceremonies, and took me out to lunch before helping me pack up my college life and apartment so I could leave.  That night, back in our house in Burlington, standing in his kitchen, talking about God-only-knows what- probably not even really talking, maybe me just looking in the fridge- he said, “I’m proud of you.”  Then, he motioned me over and hugged me.

It’s the only hug I can remember receiving from him, even though there are pictures from when I was little.  I imagine that, unless I get married some day, it will be the only hug I ever get.  But it let me know how much he loves me, and being the only one somehow makes it mean so much more.

Saying “Yes” to Life

I’ve made a decision to start saying “yes.”

It’s not that I’ve been a “no” person for most of my life, but I haven’t gone after opportunities, I haven’t taken risks.  So I’ve decided to start saying yes to any opportunity that presents itself.  Writing that down I’m reminded heavily of the movie Yes Man with Jim Carrey, but I promise I didn’t get the idea from that.  I actually decided to do this last week when I went to the movies with my friend, Kate.  We were talking about going to Octoberfest and I said, “I don’t like beer, but yes, I’ll go.  It sounds like fun.”  And I decided then and there that I needed to start saying yes to everything- because everything can be fun, if you have the right attitude about it.

I got a message the other day from someone I never expected to hear from again, asking if I wanted to meet up again.  And yes, I did.  So I said yes.  It might be stupid.  But it could also be great.  If I stay positive, life will be positive.  Life will be worth living if I decide to make it worth living.  So YES!