The Toothbrush

He’s using my toothbrush.
Old, smelly, yellow-teeth is using my toothbrush.
Doesn’t he know that the scraggly mint-green toothbrush is his?

“Well yours is green, too,” he tells me.
Army, khaki, fatigue green is NOT mint green
Fresh, smooth, cream-colored bristles are not crinkly, white strands of fiber.
Brothers! They think they’re SO great but mine is a disgusting old curmudgeon.
Three years older than me, he thinks he can push me around.

He grins at my fury
as I see him brushing my toothbrush
over his yellow teeth,

Is it catchy?
He says he’s been using it a long time.
Are my teeth going to turn ugly and yellow, too?
“Mom. Get me a new toothbrush, now.”

“I don’t have time to go to the store today,”

“But he’s using my toothbrush!
Hmmm… I just won’t brush my teeth until you get me another one.
You wouldn’t either if it was yours.”

I can see it now –
Are smelly feet catchy, too?

Don’t Blame Me

I didn’t do it
I just latched on
to a lonely buck
down on his luck
spiraling out of control

I sucked his blood
to fire my bulk
slight as I am
I managed to cram
volumes of gore in my shell

a messy like me
spits spirochete springs
that rub on your skin
and wriggle within
inject you with sneaky weird sick

I don’t make the nectar
I’m just the vector

Lyme squiggles and sticks
I – am just the tick

— March 15, 2017

It’s a Job

Daffy-eyed statue,
silly cyan feet,
the Booby rests on a rock.
Rank smell of salt-air

Beneath the lava
stretch ridges of turquoise waves.
Foam white caps
splash on boulders.

Its stomach signals
lift-off to the skies.
The bird floats high overhead,
folds its body to a sleek cylinder,
and dive-bombs to the shallows.

— December, 2013

The Separator

It stands solid, stony face peers at a bowl and mixer.
Flour, butter and ice-water; mix, flatten and roll.
Wrap atop a rolling pin; drape over a pie tin.
Form crust to fit pan.

A grey cardboard carton with twelve bottom bulges,
Flip the top to expose six brown ovoid shapes.
A bulbous nose protrudes
over a bushy ceramic mustache;

Crack! the shell opens and insides spill
into the hollow head cavity.
Tilt the cup, nose down,
sticky goo trickles through its nostrils.

Yolks and lemon merge with gelatin.
Whip the snot to light, fluffy peaks.

— November 1, 2009

Long Pond Lyric

My kayak paddle cuts a smooth surface. Blades of tall grass bend from a hillside, reach for the water below. A bull moose wades over pebbles; we watch a blue heron stalk through reeds.

dragonflies shimmer
in rays of an orange sun
painted turtle basks

I press on to deeper water. Grey stone bottom moves along beneath my craft. The wail of a loon slices heavy air as she calls to her mate. The tail of a trout protrudes from the beak of the father as he faces two bobbing brown offspring.

bronze swimmer
dives off a rock
yellow trunks

— March 30, 2008