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Poetry File

I’m an English teacher, so of course there will be poetry. Some days, it rains and snows poetry around here. (But don’t worry, no tests.)

Poetry File: The Snow Man

January 22, 2016

In college, I took a class called Masterpieces of World Literature with a very beloved professor named Timothy O’Hara. Basically, we read “masterpieces” he had selected–Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms (interesting), Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park (snore), James Joyce’s Dubliners (interesting enough, but that guy, I suspect, was an egocentric asshole). We also spent a bunch of time on Wallace […]


I recently revived my love affair with poetry. Back when bookstores were in abundance, I used to spend hours exploring the poetry sections, picking a few titles that jumped out at me, taking them to a table, sipping coffee and sinking deep. Those were some of the best moments of my life–moments alone with myself, open […]


Thanksgiving Poem

November 28, 2013

I’m no Sharon Olds or Lucille Clifton, but today’s a day to be grateful, not judgmental. I’m learning to let my guard down and let all the imperfections slide…. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.     Before Thanksgiving I am thankful for the moon last night A flash of crescent that lit up the […]


Ode to Coffee (and a perk)

September 15, 2013

  I miss you. Your long hair swirling in the atmosphere Your musk reaching from a tall cup.   We had a love affair for many years Quick rendezvous in the kitchen, between breaths and babies’ cries Or dates in a dark-wooded shop, your warmth tucked between my palms.   Since I left you, I […]

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New Places

April 11, 2013

  Every year, when National Poetry Month comes around in April, I get excited about the encouragement to read and re-read poetry. It makes me happy to know there are others out there like me who look to poetry for solace. I think poems are the parents of all other writing, and they comfort me, […]


The Living and the Dead

April 15, 2012

(National Poetry Month! Ding, ding, ding.) You just have to read this poem by Marie Howe. Few things are more beautiful. What the Living Do Johnny, the kitchen sink has been clogged for days, some utensil probably fell down there. And the Drano won’t work but smells dangerous, and the crusty dishes have piled up […]


It’s that time of year again. No, not Easter or Passover. (Those too.) It’s National Poetry Month! And that’s just as well, because poetry and spirituality, I think, are inextricably connected. This means I will try to, as in years past, present you with wonderful, celebrated poems. But I will also write a few myself. […]



November 11, 2011

  Second Birthday Two is the age of my first memory. My mother’s green robe around her like a coat as I lifted stubby fingers into the air.   I taught that to you– how to use your thumb like a wing, closed. Two fingers, a butterfly.   You, more than anyone, have shown me what […]


Getting and Spending

October 10, 2011

If I have gained anything in the last couple of years since my life and house was taken over by a second pair of little feet, it is an awareness of my emotional state. I never used to know how I felt. I just felt. There was some initial emotion buried down there, but then […]


The Red Sofa

October 5, 2011

–For William Carlos Williams. (But mostly for moms.) So much depends upon a red sofa glazed with maple syrup beside the white paper scribbled in blue.   So much depends upon the kitchen floor speckled with cracker droppings alongside the muddy shoes.   Or.   Nothing depends upon the small boy’s pee vibrant in the […]

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