Imaginary Waves

arriving just after dawn
trees bend in the breeze
by midday we swallow sand
the beach’s beauty tainted
a hot wind to bring a new season

I could put my hand out the window
make imaginary waves
pretend that my rhythmic motions
are wings carrying me elsewhere

instead I stare into the distance
mountains masked by haze
and wait for the moment
my moment
when wind will mean more
than bent branches
and the coming of summer

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One of Those Moments

i can’t write without the wind.
i line up my alliteration
against the dustbowl afternoon,
the first time a great gale
almost forced me to the ground

it is one of those moments when
fear forces itself into my forefront
and i could forget where i’m going.
it is just me, my pedals, my perseverance,
and the dust that clings to every pore

i push on through a series of green lights
to the man i love
all the way back fifteen years, and
i tell him today (like so many other days)
of the ride i’ve had,
and in this moment
(it is one of those moments)
with the wearying wind, the look in his eyes,
i see my future lie before me

Obstinacy

you are more than a storm
an obstinate endlessness of cold
hovering over spring
with the arrogance of winter

i wish i could tie down those flags,
see the sun shine on my skin
and roll up and down hills
without a push or a pelt

but i can match you, i can beat you.
summer will come soon enough
i will relish the bearing-down heat,
sweat seeping, laughing at our obstinacy.

April 23

i will remember
the pain starting at mile thirty-four
the wind at twenty-six
the snow at thirty-nine

i will remember
the endless rolling hills
the cloud-encrusted Pike’s Peak
the socks over my double-gloved fingers.

i will remember
the ninety-eight-degree Kentucky
the mile-long hills
the luxuriant lack of wind.

i will remember
your wide and comfy couch
your set out towel and hot shower
hot chocolate waiting for me.

i will remember
four kids playing cars
three girls dyeing eggs
muscles sore for days.

i will remember this day
thirty-three degrees
sun and snow and wind
everything blowing around in my mind.

Constant Haunt

first it’s the wind–
a constant haunt
this time as cold as father winter
then it’s the sun–
at ten thousand feet
quite the mean magician
next it’s the rain–
slinking into the camp
on tails of snow

but it’s the circle i’ll remember–
the women’s voices
calling out ideas
like flashes of starlight
overwhelming me as always
reminding me
again and again and again
that just like that
constant haunt of wind
my love for my girls
all of my girls
is embedded here today.

Four Flags

my day is determined
by four flags
whipping a wayward wind
toward the horizon
or reluctantly at rest
like limp rags,
their staunch appearance
a reminder of resistance.

i pedal past,
search for meaning.
will they tell me how my day will be?
in order,
in darkness
they loom before me,
first at the sin shop
lined with gluttonous cars,
then two in a row
miles down the road,
spotlighted in glory
on the hilltop of wealth,
and at last at the great institution,
lit up by a just-rising sun
awaiting my timed arrival.

they tell me if i’m crazy
(yes! the wind is your enemy today!)
remind me of my strength
(you made it! half a mile to go!)
predict my future
(it’s a long road ahead!)

but
there are no words
there is no wind
i have no muscles
that can swallow
all the hidden pain
that those wind-whipped flags
endure in their threadbare stance
as they tell me the truth in
the only way my heart will hear it.

My Moon

the music has ended
(crickets are singing now)
and there are no cicadas here

their tiny legs call out to us
in the deep of night and the
light shining on my belly?

it is like that night under the moon
white sand encircling our toes
where i walked to the water alone

you remember. how anger and
longing threw us apart, how i
imagined a trip there alone, with them.

in a perfect circle, the moon
led me along the beach, wind
whispering the truth to me

we didn’t have electricity
a bathroom or a camper,
nothing but haste and desire

i think of this now only because
of the songs you have chosen
now ended, given in to insects

i will carry them (the music of
our lives) to sleep along with my moon.
i would be lost without it.