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I had a friend in high school

Who used to give me a

Daily hug.

I squirmed

And felt uncomfortable.

But it was like a


And brought me a


That I needed.

This morning I drempt

Of another hug

By a friend I admired.

It was long

And rich.

I felt it in my body

And in my soul.

The best kind of dream.

I do not like to give hugs

In real life

For I fear they will

Reveal me.

My distaste for you

My passion for you

My deep love and need for you

My fear of you

And your judgement of me.

I’ve always imagined

That when I go to heaven

And see Jesus for

The first time

I would like to give him

A hug.

It’s one I’ve been saving

Full of all my longings

My thanks

My pains

And my pleasures.

Will I have a body to

Deliver this hug?

Arms to embrace

A head to bow?

In this time of isolation

I think about the hugs

I want to give

And perhaps those that

Others need.

When this is over

My arms

My heart

Will be open.

Sister hugs

You broke my heart

And I don’t understand

What I did

Or didn’t do

To stop you from loving me.

All along

You’ve had my heart.

I gave it to you

And now a piece of me

Is missing.

I feel its loss,

And wait patiently

For its return.

“The Rural Carrier Discovers That Love Is Everywhere”

A registered letter for the Jensens.  I walk down their drive

Through the gate of their thick-hedged yard, and by God there they are,

On a blanket in the grass, asleep, buck-naked, honeymooners

Not married a month.  I smile, turn to leave,

But can’t help looking back.  Lord, they’re a pretty sight,

Both of them, tangled up in each other, easy in their skin-

It’s their own front yard, after all, perfectly closed in

By privet hedge and country.  Maybe they were here all night.


I want to believe they’d to that, not thinking of me

Or anyone else but themselves, alone in the world

Of the yard with its clipped grass and fresh-picked fruit trees.

Whatever this letter says can wait.  To hell with the mail.

I slip through the gate, silent as I came, and leave them

Alone.  There’s no one they need to hear from.

Wishing for something new…


No matter what we are and who,

Some duties everyone must do:

A Poet puts aside his sreath

To wash his face adn brush his teeth,

And even Earls

Must comb their curls,

And even Kings

Have underthings.

“Dust of Snow”

The way a crow

Shook down on me

The dust of snow

From a hemlock tree


Has given my heart

A change of mood

And saved some part

Of a day I had rued.

January 2021

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