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The book The House of the World has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and is now available on Amazon.

Odds and Ends

I am collecting scraps,
pieces of lint from my heart,
words that faltered
or fell off the table.
Little phrases that pleased me.
They were simply blue,
or held up their hands,
or smelled like roses.
I am assembling a whole book
of them,
like a patchwork quilt,
words that begged for a place,
one of a kind,
a phrase someone used
and stuck like glue in memory.

Kick booty, Mom! said Melissa,
when Mary went to a piano lesson.
Case in point, someone said,
how droll.
Or three words
that started a poem.
The sky fell!
But what next?
Was there dust?
Much debris?
Did the stars fly away?

Or endless poems I started
and never finished.
Was love ever complete?
Did it ever have endings?
Was it late to a party?
Love at first sight?
Scraps, pieces, quotations.
Though I hate maxims
and never kept them,
threw them in the yard somewhere.

Thistles grew up prickly and beautiful
and hard to touch.
I’ll call this collection bouquets,
seashells, old bottles,
or songs that kept playing
a half tune all their lives,
until I brought them together
like a heap of children,
piling up on each other,
in a ball of laughter.

Published inIndex of all Poems