Under Repair

Under Repair
She had dreams just
as big as yours - 

of college -
fine clothes -
a useful career -

grabbed her heart
that junior year.

A boy told her

he Loved her

and she was
enough (then)
to believe his
thinly sliced

Promises and
Kisses and

The upshot,

(surprise, surprise)

a baby girl
came along,
perfect in every way.

The boy, drifted away,
a small boat, unmoored.

So there was no 
high school graduation

strut across the stage,
or cartwheels 
with diploma in hand, 
or proud parents beaming.

Home alone that 
celebratory evening,
her daughter fussy
and running a fever,
bottle bubbling
on the stove,
and later, when the baby
finally fell asleep,

She, our dropout,
stood before the mirror
imagining a glorious
satin cap and gown,

tassel flipped to one side,

she saw herself, 
standing beside a dusty road
dressed in sloppy jeans,
hard hat,
and fluorescent vest
holding a



at fifteen bucks an hour

that she wished she had


way back when. 
Photo by Taryn Elliott on Pexels.com



A storm’s wrath had wrenched
the robin’s nest from the tree above.

Jerry and i, boys of ten or so,
stumbled upon it the next morning.
The mother robin stood her ground,
fluffing her red chest in defiance.

We two, pretenders of brave big game hunters,
executed her with a BB gun, and laughed about it.

Jerry grew up, played big-time college football,
and became a famous California detective. 

i went on to teach children our language,
lay bare my shame in poetry.