Before a short spring turns to Arizona summer

This nostalgic poem is a celebration of spring and remembrance of good times spent growing up with my cousin in Tucson and riding our bikes in Sabino Canyon.  What scents or places bring back memories like that for you?  Any like poems?  Any criticisms?

On Becoming in Sabino

It is a new season.

Though I was born in winter and grew

long legs in summer


orange blossoms spike the air.

It is all I can do to keep these black clothes

tied on and not hop on my bike and race to pick you up

both of us working up spring smiles and sweat

to the sweet spot on the rocks

where our feet slide into the melted snow flow of

water on it’s way to the desert floor.

Orange peels covering our grins as we

discover the hilarious dreaming writer women

we are someday going to be


First Born – Navigating the Landscape

Today, my second baby turns five.  She is happy and sparkling with dimples aglow.  Though one thing is missing to make her birthday complete.  Her big sister.  My thoughts are constant in their effort to hold on to those sweet moments of closeness we get to share with them when they are five. 

I encourage any poets out there to post your own family poems in the comments.  I’d love to see how family inspires your thoughts.

First Born – Navigating the Landscape

there is no place to hide
in the desert
sun hits your face full on
for the world to see

heavy hearted rocks I would bury
were it not for dirt like stone
under my calloused running feet
too hard to dig, too hot to sit

what I want to remember
is not dry expanses of wasteland
between us, tumbleweeds blowing
not a mirage in sight

what I want
are the green patches of picnic
under the stars with strawberries
your favorite when you were two

for these not to just be my memories
somehow, if only 
you could find an old lunchbox
with a note from me inside

a gentle tide of a better me
a soothing calm lapping over you each day,
not the one you remember, raging dust storms followed by
cold angry silences; you howling at the moon

search your keepsake box for the one who left a bunny note
in your fourth grade lunch
and asked you to hold her hand forever
even when you grew up 

I am there somewhere, everywhere
I am still here
still trying to figure out how to make it rain
in the desert

hardest to admit, the sunburned mistakes of youth that are true
heat and cactus thorns are not what distance us
but the forest and lakeside beach, grass, and fireflies
they know us, and they’re a witness to our forever love

so much to say my baby grown
a tiny poem cannot hold
nor the desert floor filled with tears of ancient icy snows
come out little words, swim around her now and keep her afloat

Broken Rainbow – for Trayvon Martin

For Trayvon Martin, 17, who was shot February 26, 2012 by a neighborhood watch captain when he was returning home after buying candy for his younger brother.  Since the story broke, more information has slowly come out and there has been a nationwide outcry for further investigation.  Still, as of March 21, 2012, the police have not arrested the man who shot Trayvon Martin.

Broken Rainbow

Don’t know why the path of your story
curved to meet the hard line of his barrel
no news of your favorite
sports team or if there was a
wide smiled girlfriend devastated at home

Not a word of good grades
or a criminal record but I get the idea
you cared for a brother
younger than you.
A token for him not delivered that night
under neighborhood watch.

Hush hush, they say.  This one is not ours.

Scared or threatened, bold or meek,
Let people remember
yours was a
a boy on the cusp of manhood
it was not anyone’s decision to make

Will the sound of a slight young man’s last breath
reverberate in the watchdog’s chest?
Always circling like a vulture
Waiting for the flesh of hate to finally die?
Or will he believe a truth he conceived
fluff it up each night
a soft place for dreaming soundly?

Hush hush, they say.  We did not hear the screams.

National headlines have amnesia too.
Cannot remember today a shred of your wound, the violence
A bullet ripped apart your body, life, family
by supposed well-intentioned hands who claimed their
right to protect.

I will not let the world forget,
You lived. You loved.
Trayvon Martin
it was your blood that night
Rainbow candy in your pocket
never passed warm hand to hand
brother to brother
now only from this life
to next

Hush hush, they say.
But there will be no silence
Not for this man.  Until your screams are heard
Wings of justice flapping wildly above him