This is what happens when I attempt to get organized

1950s_couple_with_poem Discarding. Cleaning. Sorting. Unpleasant, tedious tasks, true, but sometimes, among the dust, the dirt, the ancient bank statements, the Post-Its that no longer stick, one finds jewels. Yes, indeedy.

An example, this 1950s picture of my parents, snapped long before I arrived. It's always been a favorite. And it inspired a poem I wrote several years ago. Yep, I am going to share it with you, dear readers. I am. Allow me this self-indulgence. Please.

You may tell me what you think. You may. In fact, I beseech you. I beg you. I plead. Divulge. Unless, of course, you hate the poem. Then you can keep those thoughts to yourself. I don't want to know. I don't. Because I am sensitive. Tender. Vulnerable. Absolutely. Anyway, you  remember what your momma said. Right? And you always do what your momma said. I know you do. Yes, ma'am. You bet. But Billie Holiday said it, too. If you can't say anything real nice . . . . Oh. Heck. Ignore her if you wish. Be brutal. If you must. If you must.

'56  Snapshot


They stand


In black and white.


He is lean.

A strand of linguine

In faded jeans,

And scuffed boots,

Hair as springy as risen dough.

She is curvy.

A bottle of Youth-Dew perfume.

Her smile is radiant,

As full of promise,

As a red-leafed shoot on a rosebush.


His arms envelop her.

His chin rests on her shoulder. 

Her chin tilts skyward,

a haughty falcon

atop the Chrysler Building.


She is


Her eyes flash:


will choose

who I love.


His grin boasts:

I am the cat.

I have the canary.


They stand.


They dare the future.

Black and white.

And gray.

(And soon, Ms. Still Life In Buenos Aires, I will tell all I know about self-tanning lotions. Because you asked. And I will deliver. Soon.)