Category Archives: June Cleaver

dear june cleaver: your apron is too tight


Fifth Grade Family Feast

They ask for mashed potatoes
and she imagines
slicing the pale calves
her daughter called prickly
into neat cubes,
boiling with salt,
mashing them into fleshy mounds.

Loaded invitation
in the child’s backpack,
requesting families,
preparation of food
in warm homes
with steamed windows.

One person – gravy,
next item on the list.
She climbs into the big silver pot
simmers until her juices run brown
as the crazed river
she could not keep from the basement.

Eat any dish delivered from a broken home
at your own risk.
Roast turkey will put down roots in the belly
strong as the claws that reach
from the great tree keeping the light
from her kitchen.

Four people — bite-
sized desserts–small joy
at the end of the feast.
Beware the pie
with sorrow baked in—
its feathers will stick in your throat.

She settles on sending in knives
and forks, not implements of torture
but sharp reminders
of what is needed to survive.


this poem is definitely raw–as in, half-baked, not yet ready for consumption.  i mean, where is the stuffing?


Please Join Me in My Latest Quest (which is not a resolution)!


A post wherein I resolve to write more blog posts…and discuss the notion of resolve.


Resolutions are bad, right?   At least, I’ve heard they’re bad because they’re so easily broken. I spent much of this New Year’s Day organizing the hundreds of books I have crowding floors and baskets and bookshelves.  Not a resolution, just a goal I have carried with me longer than I care to admit.  After realizing I accumulated at least 50 new poetry books in the past year that I’ve not even read yet, I have almost (not quite) forgiven my husband for not honoring my one Christmas wish which was for poetry books on my Amazon wish list.

Sitting surrounded by poetry, watching Iron Chef, I picked up Mary Jo Bang’s latest, The Bride of E. Another new book I have read maybe one poem from. While reading, I was inspired to write a poem. All at once, I thought, “Hey, why not try to write a poem-a-day this year?” We shall see… Join me anyone?





Being the Only Child in the Suburbs to Grow Up Eating Homemade Macaroni and Cheese, June Cleaver Goes Back to the Old Neighborhood In Search of a Recipe, Discovers the Kitchen Is Not Big Enough For a Large German White Woman


There were things I did not have
growing up
things I wanted
the blue box of macaroni and cheese
turquoise toilet water
lighter blue eyes.

Then there are the gems you hold
in your fists while you sleep–
sparkling water
so bright you could drink from a blue goblet
were you to dip one in the toilet,
the rush of warm oven heat
a blanket of soft white cheese
eyes that match your father’s
and the river he swam in as a child.

When you are blue
remember these dinners
on cobalt plates
steaming macaroni and cheese,
the blue gingham apron
keeping your mother clean.

June Cleaver, Now Separated, Has a Date With Buddha


After my reincarnation
I went to the cemetery to brag

laughter doesn’t go over
well at the burial site

I move on, head to the local gin joint
slow dance with a stiff
whisper in his moldy ear
you can’t believe the freedom

my arms melt when I ask them
I order my dreams sunny
-side up, the monsters come alive
in shades of cream and sugar
(think coffee poured into a clear glass mug)
I am no longer afraid.

Well, the man I chose to dance with
that old stiff, he gets a little jealous
smashes my dream with the rubber mallet
he keeps in his pick-up truck.

It was just a dream.

Mother always told me just turn
your pillow over
to the good dream side.
There was this one night when I turned my face
to the good side. That was the night I felt
the air leave my lungs in one slow swell.

Here I am today,
come back as a dragonfly
or is it a moth?
Either way, please don’t touch my wings.