Tuesday, February 20, 2018


They came lined up like chorus girls -
Just five, though, in a row,
A plastic cover letting them
Be visible below.

Protected, they stayed soft and fresh
Until the wrapper tore,
Most likely well before you even
Paid or left the store.

The colors, bright and cheery,
Topped with sugar, never bled –
A lemon yellow, orange, green,
A licorice black and red.

I mostly ate the red one first
But sometimes chose the black
And green, without a doubt, remained
The last one in the pack.

Though chewy Chuckles candies
In my childhood gained acclaim,
They never lived up to the joy
Expected by their name.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Hanging-Out Clothes

I’m hanging around
In my hanging-out clothes,
The ones you won’t see
When I’m striking a pose.

I have quite a few –
They’re outdated and loose
And compliments, likely,
They’d never produce.

They might have a stain
Or be faded or ripped
Or wrinkled (for ironing’s
Surely been skipped).

And yet, they are comfy
And cozy to me.
While wearing them, I’m
As relaxed as can be.

If you ring my doorbell,
Don’t think that it’s strange
For there’ll be a delay
While I hasten to change!

Sunday, February 18, 2018


A perfect day for sledding –
Lots of snow, but not too cold.
Though Henry tackled hills, his sister
Wasn’t quite as bold.

So I pulled her sled behind me,
As she laughed, on level ground,
While Henry and his dad (my son)
Were bravely downward-bound.

The kids were beaming, filled with joy,
By heeding winter’s call,
But I’d swear their sledding daddy
Had the most fun of us all.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Faces of Money

If Washington came back to life
I wonder how he’d feel
To be pictured on a quarter
And a dollar bill – surreal!

Abe Lincoln, too, would bust a gut
If he became alive,
To see his visage plastered
On a penny and a five.

And Alexander Hamilton,
If he could live again,
Would love the play about him
And his picture on the ten.

Had Andrew Jackson ditched his grave,
He’d likely argue plenty
About his image front and center
On our nation’s twenty.

Ben Franklin, though, would be real proud
If he came back to earth,
To find out that a hundred dollar bill
Proclaims his worth.

McKinley’s portrait graces
Money that we rarely use.
(I’ve never even seen that bill –
Five hundred smackeroos!)

Poor Jefferson, despite his wealth
And all he got to do,
Unfortunately got his mug
On the elusive two!

The pictures on our currency
Have long been set in place.
Thank goodness or our current prez
Would swap ‘em for his face.

Friday, February 16, 2018

To Spin

Children love to spin and spin 
With no need to be cautious.
Just watching them's enough for me
To feel a little nauseous.

Our inner workings, in our youth,
Allow the blood to flow
But as we age, attempts to twirl 
Will give us vertigo.

Perhaps that is the reason why
My grandson, being bold,
Announced that spinning's not for me -
Because I'm just too old!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Zippo Lighters

Soldiers sent to Vietnam
Were oftentimes equipped
With Zippo lighters they’d engraved
And in their pockets slipped.

The sayings varied. Some were fun,
Irreverent or wise.
Each reflected feelings
Of those most unlucky guys.

I guess they’d hoped to leave behind
(If they did not return)
A small memento to pass on
To someone of concern.

I saw a whole collection
At a Vietnam display.*
The messages (with fates unknown)
Will in my mind’s eye weigh.

My favorite one (not rated X)
I’ll print in full below.
The owner sounds like someone
That I might have liked to know.

            Fighter by day
            Lover by night
            Drunkard by choice
            Marine by mistake

*at the New York Historical Society

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

This Poem

This poem doesn’t want to get written.
It’s fighting with all that it’s got.
Apostrophes, commas,
Their daddies and mamas
Are joining to give it a shot.

I’m dragging each word that’s resisting
And plunking it down on the page.
So every letter
I’ve forced, with a fetter,
To take its place up on the stage.

This poem didn’t want to get written.
Its protests were lusty and loud
But the pencil I wield
Made hostilities yield
For the poet’s compulsion’s unbowed.