Poems about Grandpa


one of my favorite things about the moment

i walk into your house

(which always smells like Christmas did when

I was eight years old)

is turning the corner and seeing your frame

tall and brown, weathered and smiling

then squeezing you tight for a good minute.

unfailingly, each time you laugh and comment

on the quality of the hug.


i know you were born into a black-and-white photo

or maybe sepia.

i know you carried a twig around for a toy,

maybe half a brick if you were lucky.

i know you’ve worked your hands to their very bones

all your life, and never once complained

you’ve never let your smile diminish.

at the dinner table, you are as observant as a spotted owl;

you have a quiet spirit,

a thoughtful heart.

and when you laugh,

the room booms with a series

of vibrations that make me reconsider humor.


i can count on one

hand the number of times I’ve heard

you speak with anger.


Waking up early to work out, and other fantasies

^^ My favorite stock photos are the ones of perfectly groomed, coiffed, non-sweaty women smiling demurely while hefting a 20-pound dumbbell or running a marathon. I can confirm that I have never once smiled (or looked that awesome) while trying to curl a 20-pound dumbbell.

I generally think of myself as a go-getter. I love new opportunities, I love learning new perspectives, I love trying new things. I love the feeling of real productivity (although I write this as a lab report sits in desperate need of attention) and a finished product in my hands, as well as the satisfaction of having done my best at a task.

One area where I consistently fall short, however, is making it to the dang gym.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE working out. Love it. Nothing beats that endorphin rush, the pride in lifting more weight than I did last session, that feeling of slamming the battle ropes into the floor while metal blasts in my ears. It’s awesome and I love it.

And yet, despite my best intentions, I can never seem to get my arse out of bed before everything else in my day gets rolling. I sleep in during those precious gym hours, then -oops! – it’s time to get ready for class, or hold office hours for work, and… boom. That morning gym session is suddenly pushed back till the evening when every Tom, Dick, and Harry decides that they, too, want to PR on a back squat.

It’s especially strange, considering than 1 in 3 women apparently have a circadian clock than runs on a cycle of less than 24-hours, indicating a pretty significant asynchrony that might result from both late nights and early mornings (not to mention early-waking insomnia, which every woman in my family seems to have). Since I don’t have to get up super early for work or class (at least not this semester), and since I’m pretty young, I’m not in the habit of getting up early – and so my clock may in fact be more similar to the typical male circadian rhythm.

I never wanted to be one of the guys, but….. here we are.

Regardless, I’m going to try it tomorrow. I’m going to see if I can do it, just once. Get my butt out of bed when my alarm actually goes off, get dressed for the gym, and get it done before it’s time for my 9:00 am office hours. Hopefully I’ll be more focused and productive after a sweet, solitary morning workout!

It’ll give me an excuse (as if I needed another one….lolol) to stop for a yummy Sheetz latte on the way home. 😉




“past octobers” – a poem

waking up among the gilded leaves,

they shine like new honey against the sky.

i have wished for years

for a feeling i can’t reclaim –

that was lost from me one October when I was sixteen.

i breathe the scent of possibility,

and it fills my lungs with the need to move forward.

and yet I also need stillness,

i need a simple cup of coffee and conversation,

i need my heart to glow crimson with a feeling

of belonging.




“tonight” – a poem

Thursday night,

sit and write

my calves are sore from moving metal plates.

my silent apartment motionless,

and with unconscious breath i sit and wait.

for what, i do not know

for my brain to will my legs to move,

for my heart to will my mind to will my hands

to create something new.

it seems i have forgotten color,

that i know not what to do with myself while i am alone.

it seems i have forgotten shape: the morphology of the counter-tops, of the blushing-apple trees

don’t feel like home.

perhaps i have figured out this perpetual obsession

with an unknown eve –

should i begin to walk at night,

braving the darkness, the whisper of leaves?

all that i know is that right now i feel

emptied, cracked, rushed, like water boiling too fast on the stove.

so today i called my brother, but he was busy

beginning a life that is now fully his own.


“Hunger” – 2 Poems


earl grey tea is a misnomer

it’s really more of a deep brown and it’s definitely not an earl

in my pauper’s cup.

i wake up, head throbbing, lie there between the white sheets

like a ghost, feeling the sensations

of warmth and hunger and fog.


the hunger, really, is unearned –

somehow i still see eating as a transaction, a sacrifice my body makes

one which i probably don’t deserve.

somehow despite the strong curves of my body

i still need to justify

adding cream to my coffee.


today there is a potato festival in Ebensburg, Pennsylvania

i want to set a personal record for the amount of potato i can eat

in a single day.