Instead of a Silver Spoon

The cat in the cradle
stole my tongue,
and I’ve been silent
ever since.

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The Late Onset of Gravity

Miss Eloise’s signature
was scrawled upon the check beneath
Her dead husband’s printed name:
Seventy-five dollars, given
For someone to run the microphones
For the eulogy.

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The Contours of God’s Face

God turns off the light
so that you will learn
your way back

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Holy Secret

The old man is snoring again.
It’s the only sound that escapes his lips
these days. So she lies awake listening,
wishing she could rouse him and talk
about what they’ve seen.

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Home Can Be Lost and Found

Author’s Note: Near my house are a good many runnels and brooks. Often, they quietly suffer the shame of being impounded or bullied by the feckless construction of highways which, while useful, tend to ignore the finer vagaries of East Tennessee’s rolling landforms. I cannot be too indignant, though. For I am both creek and roadway, a paradoxical battleground silently warring upon my own landscape, hoping for the complex imprint of grace and holy rhythm.


The blond underbelly of a hawk
Glints off the sun as it shifts
Its southpaw grip on a winter draft

Rising up the brush-grown vales hacked,
Bored, smoothed into interstate.
Pavement gathers deviant heats, pours them

Where a rimland creek once purled under trees,
Begging snow to its late-year breast,
Laying itself down, coverlet

By whitened coverlet, slumbering
Till slow, gentle crocuses sing
Hymns in royal purple: Up! Waken!

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To separate yolk from white
My mother used half the shell
Like a little cup.

Sometimes she used a device
That safely nestled the yolk
While the white overflowed
Into bottomless crevasses
And ultimately into a waiting receptacle

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