The Unfinished List of 2016

There is so much to say about 2016, and so much work to be done now, in our minds, hearts, surroundings. I am beginning, however, with books.   When my parents were here over Christmas, my father drove down our mountain to get his beloved Sunday New York Times. Of course, I devoured as much…

Shedding Layers (for Real)

Yesterday at a poetry workshop I took off two layers of clothes. One minute we were discussing black poetry. The next, we were arguing about women’s dresses at the Oscars. The next, I had taken off my clothes. You see, Maya Angelou told us in her powerful, incomparable way that no matter what you do…

Silent Night

Things can be crappy (you want a better word but that’s really how it feels) — crappy, top-of-the-line, end-of-the-line crappy, nothing the way it’s supposed to be, including your feeling of dissatisfaction with words, and then you just go, you go out alone into the dark night and walk up the road and the air…

Interlude – for San Bernardino

Let’s make him fly, says Milo, about his foam board Santa hitched to tottering, prop-legged reindeer when we get out the Christmas decorations. And I believe him. I believe in him. I have to. Because more people were gunned down today. People who help people were gunned down today. So sweet five-year-old boy, I will…

Disaster/Relief

  On Monday evening, which happened to be the evening of my 43rd birthday, my husband came home with the mail and dropped it on the desk as usual. And it was the usual pile of bills and holiday catalogs and appeals for end-of-year donations. And the Princeton Alumni Weekly. For years, when this magazine…