Like the mail, we wait for Jesus —
cooling his heels, he rises through epochs.
Out our window the air falls all day long.
Needing his missives,
staring at the approaching sidewalk,
we give up, yawn and say,
“No mail today.”
Then glimpse him past us, disappearing down the block —
bare feet pressing wet roses on concrete.
In the pool a girl, slim and new-breasted,
treads water, watching the high-diving boys.
On the springboard a lad, skinny and shivering,
wavers before leaping.
Above them a Strike Eagle, sleek and silver,
plunges down, trailing a snarl through the blue.
The boy salutes the dive bomber,
dances up his courage, and cannonballs.
The water explodes, its flames engulfing a village.
The girl strokes towards him.
In twilight the spider’s web vanishes.
Rather than silken lace,
her eight legs climb only air.
She swings and twirls in a buffet of breeze,
then scurries higher into space.
Having only half her limbs, we are spider’s
but we too ascend on invisible threads,
spun from ourselves, sticky to the touch,
strong in the wind.
Searching for sticks, the sparrow sings again
in the alley while
his spouse sips from the puddle
of a cat’s paw print.
Up from the mud sprout
green shocks of new weeds,
and willow buds, sleek as baby rabbits,
burst from twigs rattling in gusts against a billboard.
In the thawed sump of a tin can
bug couples hug in rapturous honeymoons.
Beneath us, a worm burrows after a friend
through earth once again soft enough to munch.
Even we two woolen creatures,
coughy-throated and pale, scurrying
for the bus, tug off our hats
and blink hello.
She touches me while I read,
presses kisses on my neck.
Mid-stanza her voice intrudes:
“I love you, do you love me?”
I read to the end, say, “Yes I love you,”
give her hand a dismissing squeeze.
Thinking, now go away,
let me finish this new book
of love poems.
On the frozen bud
a wren, fluffed to brave the sleet,
sings and flicks her tail.
Paintings still shine
through barred windows
after we’ve all gone home
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Lila, the Revolutionary
Lila, the Revolutionary is a fable for adults about an eight-year-old girl—smart, charming, and tough as can be—who creates a world revolution for social justice. No one ever told her she couldn't end poverty and inequality, so she doesn't doubt that she can Just Do It, starting with the Nike shoe factory where she works. Like the boy in "The Emperor's New Clothes," Lila can see the reality that adults are blind to. And she's not shy about pointing it out. Her story is a call to action: If Lila can do it, so can we. She convinces us that Yes, a better world is possible, and we're the ones to create it.