November

November

3 a.m., Pam coughing angrily

5, quiet, the night has filled
with those no longer here,
things unsaid, things never said,
forgiven, my books unread,
long efforts past—
a rich and healing dark
made of the forgotten,
the way a color wheel
spins white

7, gray touches the window,
Pam breathes evenly,
the other side of the wall

Seattle

These Cups

These Cups

for Erik and Stefanie,
married October 15th, 2016

Sun-browned mountains
terraced in the Bronze Age,
the Aegean, turquoise, sapphire,
a row of olive trees well pruned—
in the shade of a shed roof, a white cat
sits by tables spread with new pottery.

A man appears from his house,
tall, slim, a grizzled beard. Tanned hands,
youthful fingers, wrap our purchases.
“21 Evros.”
Pam puts a twenty on the table,
searches in her purse.
“20 O.K.”
She finds a coin and overrides his offer.
“For cat food,” I say.
“Cat supposed to catch mouse.
We have many mouse.”
He smiles, accepts the money.
“Don’t worry. I feed her anyway.”

I wave my arm around.
“You have taken this place and made it better.
This is wonderful.” He considers.
“We are happy here.”

From his hands, through ours, to yours,
these cups hold a bit of Greek happiness
to be added to your own.

Paros