family

Pleasures cheap and dear

  The Problem of Gratified Desire by Marie Ponsot   If she puts honey in her tea and praises prudence in the stirring up she drinks, finally, a drop of perfect sweetness hot at the bottom of the cup.   There will be pleasures more complex than it (pleasure exchanged were infinite) but none so […]

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Shapes on a ship

  Shapes by Ruth Stone   In the longer view it doesn’t matter. However, it’s that having lived, it matters. So that every death breaks you apart. You find yourself weeping at the door of your own kitchen, overwhelmed by loss. And you find yourself weeping as you pass the homeless person head in hands […]

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Another reason to purge your closet

  Disposal by W.d. Snodgrass   The unworn long gown, meant for dances She would have scarcely dared attend, Is fobbed off on a friend— Who can’t help wondering if it’s spoiled But thinks, well, she can take her chances.   We roll her spoons up like old plans Or failed securities, seal their case, […]

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More sweet potatoes, less election hash

This past week I’ve heard stories of people not going home for Thanksgiving because they’re upset their relatives voted differently than they did.   Add one more to the list of disheartening effects the 2016 election has had on our country. Thanksgiving is the holiday that’s supposed to bring us together. Thanksgiving is a holiday […]

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A daughter’s sun

  Waiting At The Window by A. A. Milne   These are my two drops of rain Waiting on the window-pane.   I am waiting here to see Which the winning one will be.   Both of them have different names. One is John and one is James.   All the best and all the […]

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But you can’t delegate gratitude

Thanksgiving, the kids come home and I rejoice because at last I can delegate again. Delegation, one of the perks of parenthood. Delegation, how the napkins get ironed, wood hauled, dishwasher emptied, onions sliced, chairs moved, table set, chaos ordered. Delegation, essential to any host whose hands are covered in butter and turkey bacteria. And a […]

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Do not go gentle, go dervish

  Equinox   by Elizabeth Alexander   Now is the time of year when bees are wild and eccentric. They fly fast and in cramped loop-de-loops, dive-bomb clusters of conversants in the bright, late-September out-of-doors. I have found their dried husks in my clothes.   They are dervishes because they are dying, one last sting, […]

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Poems for Mothers Day

I always have a lot to celebrate on Mother’s Day. My mother, 88 and still funny and sharp, is a woman I’d consider myself lucky to even know, much less to claim as mother. I’ve got four older sisters who mothered me each in their own way, a wonderful mother-in-law, and an aunt-in-law I love as […]

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