Monday, June 21, 2021

old school laughter

to sit down with strangers talking talking
talking, the sun stunning in its brilliance 
like our laughter, sounding like we never 
heard of hurt, happy as an escaped key
I start, you finish, then we restart again  

the sisters say: "quiet now, settle down"
they turn their backs, snort their grace
and then we're off on one more round... 
odd how though it's made only of sound
laughter never loses its meaning or place

[Pic: Waterlilies at MSU Radiology Gardens]

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Fathers' Day*

The kids and I called my dad last night (already Fathers' Day in India) while my sister was making him a "full English breakfast." Everyone was super excited and happy and talking over each other and couldn't hear very well. My dad legit couldn't hear us, I suspect ๐Ÿ˜ž.

At and Nu took Big A brunch in bed and got him a couple of cans of the beer he likes and a very VSCO beer cozy. They said all they knew walking into the store was that the kind Big A likes had fish on the logo... they nailed it.

Pic: My one fancy nursery planter splurge didn't make it too long before it was colonized by a family of house sparrows in the most beautiful, mossy nest I've ever seen. But now the baby birds have flown and I am going to see if I can rejuvenate the planter.

* I'm going to punctuate it this way and not this.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

I said

a letter seems only an island of sound 
till it has found bridges and isthmuses 
of words and meaning

we're at this crossing to talk some more--
soaring through side streets and alleys 
where we are all children

come back, connect, read me generously
correct, on this towpath of peace, release
my complaint--always me

[Pic: cobwebs-bridge-Red Cedar River]

Friday, June 18, 2021

shadow friends

When cousin P and I had a marathon chat last week, she lamented how all the people who were so amazing to us when we came to the U.S. as grad students: the kind, generous, progressive folks--who fed us, acclimated us, radicalized us--seem to have disappeared. 

Not true, I said--thinking of L--I walk with one of them almost everyday. 

[Pic: L and I being silly with our shadows in the Red Cedar on Farm Lane yesterday.]

Thursday, June 17, 2021

starting summer

No working stove yet, but I'm getting quite good at making do with L's electric skillet... I might even be thinking of getting one. Luckily, picnic-style food works great right now.

Finally got the kids' to share their summer fun lists. After weeks of begging ๐Ÿคจ. Maybe that's more of a "me" thing?

Lots of other little traditions are making their way into our lives. At, for instance, will share a reading and then schedule a long walk to talk about it. This happened quite organically, and I LOVE it. Right now he has me reading Shawn Wallace's The Designated Mourner. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2021


Yes... no... I don't know... yet
how to take things for granted
let's say we're sort of Egyptian 
in all the ways we are learning 
to prepare--not for life--but death 

I hold for friends who have left 
homelands... once upon a time
with untold pasts, fear for those   
whose names change every day,
who clasp peace so hard--it splits

[Pic: Ely Woods with L this morning]

Tuesday, June 15, 2021


For you're breathy as a kettle, 
in all of this ennui, this outrage
yet we sit blandly where people 
were dead--had been for ages.

We are the ones who are alleged 
to dust off the drifting ash before 
standoff, feel around for the edge 
of backlash, its puny incoherence.

But we listen; learning now how
all news is unbearable, how it all
allows us to be portals standing
impatient, indifferent, in disgrace.

Monday, June 14, 2021


Had a welcome breakthrough on a work project and managed to meet a proposal deadline one whole day ahead of deadline.

Took a nap. Woke up because of a horrifying moment in a post-apocalyptic-style dream (someone had tumbled down some stairs because I bumped them and when I went to check on them, I was captured and they started pulling on my clothes... also, my dad was supposed to help me keep watch, but he fell asleep and didn't hear me when I was shouting for help).

I'd planned a "Summer Celebration" to celebrate the end of Nu's 8th grade year.... it literally got rained on after we set the picnic table. 

Ah well, watermelon tastes almost as good indoors too. 

Sunday, June 13, 2021

third wave

A lovely start to the day, going up the riverwalk with L... Then a chat with my sister who said that a third wave is expected in India by the end of the year... After that, everything felt very off for the rest of the day. 

I made a summer soup for dinner in the InstantPot (stove's still not working), but left everyone to their own devices and put myself to bed with a bar of chocolate.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

"and also with you"

MC's ordination today: KB drove here from Alma and then I drove us both to the church. It felt a bit like a road trip and I did all the chatting and checking-in my heart desired. The ordination was communal and loving and there was lots of singing (and cake afterwards). I loved it all.

My first car trip with someone outside the family; first gathering with strangers; first church service in over a year. You'd think I'd have needed and thus attended more services online this past year, but... no; I haven't. 

[Pic: Detail from St. Paul's in Jackson, MI]

Friday, June 11, 2021

they rock


Tidying up a box full of old greeting cards and mementoes, I came upon this (fairly humdrum) rock. I'm guessing one of the kids gave it to me. I honestly have no idea which kid or when or why. 

I checked with them to see if they remembered, but they don't, so I'm releasing this one into the wild, wide world.

I miss my tiny kids and their sincere, impromptu prezzies. ๐Ÿฅฐ