"My evil genius Procrastination has whispered me to tarry 'til a more convenient season." —Mary Todd Lincoln, American first lady, born December 13, 1818


Full moon in the east and blue-gray streaks of cloud;
It’s pale-gold, pale-rust, pale-pink above West Mountain.
Our happy young dog has done her business.
Through the windows at number 86, Jeopardy:
“This actress’s tell-all memoir, Inside Out…”

Main Street’s empty; just John at number 93,
With a wheelbarrow, and Al, putting new tires on
His old F150 in a gallant vote of confidence.
Not. One. Child. Shelburne lies dead in the water.
Like the quiet? Our new world may suit you just fine.

And I, left-over mid-century-modern bric-a-brac,
Regard this bleak, unending catastrophe
Some days begin in tears and end in rage or scorn.
Tonight I re-soften to melancholy at twilight; then smile:
Because all the bills — all of them — came due at once,

And everyone — every one of us — are broke, and broken, together.

May-August 2020