The Hunt

The following story was published on Jan. 17, 2024 on The Raven's Perch, an online literary magazine. The Hunt Today is the day I go hunting for a moose. One year ago today, I watched the spirit of my grandmother pull itself free from her mangled earthly body. She always called that body a gift, a temporary vessel that allowed her to experience life, though towards the end it became more of a prison. “Take me home,” she said. “Where is home?” I asked. She had been living in a nursing home for a few years, which was difficult for the fiercely independent woman I knew my Grandma to be. Any of her assets, including her home, dissolved for her care. “The cabin,” she said. Without telling anyone, I loaded her in the van. We escaped the nursing home and wound our way through the colors of Autumn to her favorite place - yellow aspen and paper birch, red maple, green adler, balsam fir. She died surrounded by everything that fed her soul. The rustic cabin, nestled in the Minnesota North Woods, is my home now. She transferred title to me several years before she entered the nursing home, before her body was riddled with arthritis. We spent precious moments … [Read more...]


A Moment Stopped

Water droplet imprints on my glasses The sky swollen with dark gray clouds I smile Inside my heart dances as mist washes away the drabness and consistency of life The slats sigh resistance as I step onto the boardwalk Ripples on the lake slap each other as they run away from raindrops Drought exposed thick, soft muck lines the bank Colorful leaves create underwater paintings A mallard and his mate swim closer then away then closer looking for food, unable to decide if I am a threat A small muskrat swims away from the silt plume created by the spring rushing to feed the bathtub lake, a hollow fallen tree his home Unexpected pleasure amidst the busy Accepting the gift I stop … [Read more...]


Being outside

I was at a reading last night in which the author posed a question asking if the land speaks to you. It is amazing how much outside speaks to me! The following poem speaks of a time where the wilderness felt like home. Home Silence, my purposeful steps on the trail the only sound, meadow on one side, the river on the other. A small golden doe stands between me and the river, neck extended, ears propped at attention, assessing. Deciding I am a threat she lopes off. Stepping into the forest the breeze whispers through the trees. Grandfather Oak stretches his arms above me sheltering me with his strength. Looking up blue sky peeks through gnarled fingers splattered with green leaves. Tiny dragonflies perch on thin fingers of a lifeless arm, one, and then another, and another, until there are five, comfortable with my presence, watching my every move. The forest is beautiful here, the thin underbrush speckled with the suns' kiss. I dance through the trees with the wind and the sun, my arms in the air a grin on my face. I am home. … [Read more...]


Beside Her

I read the following poem at a reading recently. It was written as I sat with my mother in the last year of her life. We sit in silence holding hands, one ancient, one old. She asks about me. I talk about work. "I love pickled liver." "What made you think of pickled liver?" "I thought that's what you said." I stop talking. Linear conversation is hard. I am old. She is my mother, residing between reality and a world within her, hearing things that are not said, believing things that are not meant. She is dying, slowly, struggling to breathe. She is afraid. Afraid of the unknown of the suffering to come of dying of dying alone. "I will be ok," she says. "Will you be ok?" She worries about me. "Yes." "Are you ready?" I ask. "Yes. Are you?" "Yes." Back and forth between fear and acceptance. Fear ultimately wins. We sit in silence holding hands, one ancient, one old, remembering. … [Read more...]