Sitting with my Thumb in My Mouth

I am sitting with my thumb in my mouth

as I used to do when I was a child,

to comfort myself. Now I am an old woman,

I find my way back to that instinctive method

of making myself feel better. For babies,

it must resemble the breast. What is it 

for the old? I have seen other elderly people

do this; is it true we all regress, into 

second childhood? I don’t feel less

aware, haven’t lost the power of thought,

but maybe I’m just closer now, again,

at this other end of life, to the basics.


Tara, Troubled

~ about Willow ~

She has a ruthless streak, my girl.

I know her. I know she can go

to extremes. Shy when I met her, now

she is tasting her power, and she likes it.

But I have been subject to ruthless.

I know what power, gone to the extreme,

does to one on the other end … inflicts. 

I have been that victim. It makes me careful.

I have known loss of choice. She, 

in her way, is losing it too. Power

can take hold. I have navigated this path

before her. I wish only to guide.

Magic is responsibility. Use with care!

Will she turn back? Back from this

wrong way? Back to me? She thinks 

she can have both, wants it all. 

I love her passion, that now has her

grasp with both hands; but I don’t

love to see her heart distort, don’t love 

how far she is moving, away from me.


Willow should be for wands, 

not swords. Willows are meant 

to be graceful, to grow into 

sheltering spaces. May it so be!

Rommy, in Friday Writings #41 at Poets and Storytellers United, invites us to write from the point of view of a television character from a show we like. 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' is one of my all-time favourite shows, and I identify with my favourite character, Willow, who goes from being a nerd to a witch. Like Willow, I love the wise and gentle Tara, a more experienced witch (with a background of family abuse) who is here portrayed in her loving concern at the time when Willow becomes dangerously enamoured of magical power.



The light in your greeny-blue eyes, reminder of a summer ocean.

The way one lock of your hair always used to stick up, rebellious.

Your freckles, your flushed cheeks, your whole face lighting up with sudden laughter.

How fervently you would debate a point to understand it better.

Your hands moving swiftly through books and papers, or stilled and warm in mine.

The time I leaned back against your chest, your cradling arms around my waist.

All the lines that you wrote me: letters, poems, and that book inscription.

The path we walked our last day together, sunlight warm on our faces.

Written in response to Magaly's request for a list poem, in Friday Writings #40 at Poets and Storytellers United. Each item in my list is an American Sentence, the form created by Allen Ginsberg.


How to Crochet a Poem

First choose the wool.

Is it a blend of colours –

bright or delicate? –

or one particular shade,

a predominant mood?

And the strands – 

are they thick and firm, 

that you can pull hard

without breaking?

Or soft and fine, their strength 

all in the inter-weaving?

What pattern  to select

for this poem – richly complex 

or simple, straightforward?

And how big will it need to be?

What’s its purpose, 

what must it cover?

Decisions, decisions!

So serious. But I like to play.

I pick up a hook, a nice

middling size, adaptable

to different thicknesses of wool.

I plunge in, find a ball at random.

Almost idly, my fingers move,

making a beginning, adding

another row, increasing

the circumference … until

a variation suggests itself,

and I explore where that leads.

This method, haphazard,

rarely produces a garment.

But it can be beautiful to see. 

And it might be warm. 

It might become a shawl 

to wrap you, or even a blanket.

Sometimes it will be

a tiny, useless thing

to enjoy for a moment

(and perhaps again, for

another moment). It could be

shaped like a flower.

Written in response to my own prompt for Friday Writings #39: Crafting at Poets and Storytellers United.

Image by Dario Gomes on Unsplash.