Like Miriam

This is part of a Hebrew prayerbook I originally started as a volunteer project for a synagogue I attended for many years. The synagogue went in another direction, but I finished the prayerbook for use at my wedding. It’s designed as a responsive reading. Let me be strong, like Miriam Let me be holy, like...

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Chasing Ghosts

Life looks different from the perspective of 39 and divorced than it did at 20. When a friend and former student in her early twenties, a recent college graduate whose relationship experiences were very different than mine asked me, indirectly, about my divorce, I realized the metaphors I took for...

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Tomorrow’s Child

Not my best work, but a good example of what happens when you spend several nights in a row waiting around for a not-so-punctual friend while writing a book set in 1890’s central Europe. Consider yourself warned.     Wet cobblestones on a rainy night. A streetlamp glimmers a little...

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Tupperware Poems

There’s a bit of an “in” joke here on the Tupperware. The woman I was dating at the time had held an adult toy party, but several of her friends were afraid to admit to their partners where they’d gone, and told their partners they’d gone to a Tupperwear party...

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Morning Poem (For B—)

This was written after talking to a recently widowed friend who had two small children. I’d also been re-reading Sarah Zettell’s Fool’s War , with its observation that “life wants to continue,” and some of her ideas crept into the poem. This was written more than six years before I...

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Notes on a Friend’s Wedding

I was going through a long divorce when I wrote this, but had been dating off and on for a couple of years since my ex- had left. Style was the nickname of a friend who I met on a chat site and became “dating buddies” with; we never dated...

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Today, We Are All From Worcester

The first legal gay marriages were welcomed by the Worcester town government while other communities in Massachusetts were so caught up in the new administrative nightmare the court decision permitting gay marriage caused that they seemed to lose touch with the real meaning of the day. Everywhere there was a...

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Home for the Holidays

The woman I was dating at the time was flying to Israel the next day for an extended, likely relationship-ending trip, and it started me thinking about different meanings of “home,” and how they evolve over the course of our lives. I still like the heavy rhythm of the refrain,...

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For M—

My instincts were a little too good here. As love poems go, this one worked…um…better in the short run than the long run. Not every thicket has a trail leading into it, a lesson the idealist in me hasn’t always wanted to accept. And not everyone is quite so willing...

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The Thunking of Lars

This was a little mock-epic romp that came out of a gaming session. I fell in love with the “we’ll drink a toast to the drinks we’ve drunk” line and felt like playing with rhythms a bit. After three verses I’d pretty much beaten the joke to death and had...

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