Foxes and Magnolias

Leaves rattle down like rain; they brown and crumple against street curbs and leave me longing for something I may have never lost.

You Posting About “Gluten-Free” Being a Fad Is A Fad (and really annoying)

On a completely unrelated subject of poetry- nutrition. And a rant about it, for that matter. Something just as important to my well-being as writing is.

There are all of these articles and blog entries out there about how being gluten free is just a fad. The allergy or intolerance or sensitivity is not real. Or even if it is real, you don’t have it. And guess what. . . I’M SICK OF HEARING IT!!  

The truth is this:

Some of us feel terrible when we eat gluten. We get headaches, we get itchy, we can’t poop, our stomach twists with pain, we get moody, and more. AND these symptoms last for a LONG TIME. Not just a day or two or even a week. Sometimes we have to deal with these things for TWO WHOLE WEEKS.

When our friends and family order crab rangoons or pizza or BEER or bake you fucking cookies and we have to look at it with longing or push it away with a sad hand as they explain how good it is and how you have to try it. . . well, it sucks.

And when you go out to a restaurant and you have to be very specific with your order and ask a variety of questions about the ingredients of what you are wanting to eat and the people you’re with roll their eyes at you or you can see the server holding their breath with annoyance- it’s not fun for us.

We don’t like having to spend more money on gluten free bread or gluten free soy sauce or gluten free salad dressings or whatever else we may be wanting without gluten.

We don’t like feeling guilt when telling someone we can’t eat the meal they made because it has gluten in it. ESPECIALLY when they tried really hard to cook us a gluten-free meal, but didn’t realize that the chicken broth had flour in it as a thickening agent or forgot about the soy sauce or the oats. We also don’t like feeling like an inconvenience and having people go out of their ways for us.

But the truth is also this:

We feel better when we don’t eat gluten. So much better, in fact, that it is worth enduring the truths listed above.

Every time someone rolls their eyes at us or makes fun of our allergy or intolerance or sensitivity and says it’s just a fad- we like you less. Your lack of respect for us makes us respect you less, too.

In many of the articles posted in speaking of non-gluten diets as a joke, there are comments on the idea that “of course you feel better when you’re not eating a bunch of junk food and eat salads for meals instead”. YES! This is true! But eating salad. . . or soups or salmon or roasted vegetables. . . isn’t what makes my headache go away or cause my itching to stop. Not eating gluten is what does this.


It’s an amazing feeling to be healthy and to be good to ourselves. Don’t be an asshole when we are doing what is right for us. That just means more pizza and beer and cookies for you.



The innocent chatter of loud children

whirling and bending like dance,

like flirting birds

in dull spaces,


little boy and little girl

speaking and giggling

at the same octave

with the same gapped tooth smiles


her blonde pony tail, frizzed

his hair neatly shaped,

freshly cut at the salon

down the street with his mother


little leaves on long branches

canting at the edge of happening roads.


My hands were softer in Illinois-

I look at the children,

perhaps because I was younger then,

perhaps it was the rain and lake and moistened air,

how can I know?


Maybe you remember,

do you-

my soft hands, back then

in Illinois?

You always held them so well,

took one of mine in both of yours

and kissed it

so well.


Why don’t you kiss them


And the rosehips someday, too

He brought me flowers today

from the little market,

though growing-

red and green and plum,

some yellow


and I couldn’t help but think

how they’d soon be dead,

soon have leaves and petals

dried and curling,


and all the pines I saw

across the hills,

I couldn’t help

but think of them dead,

someday, too.




When driving the canyon:

a truck

with a hundred trees, or so.

I wanted to stop him,

tell him to put them back.

Amongst Other Little Things

I saw little feet hanging at the edge of a stroller,

little black shoes in sunlight,



Tuesday sparrows spilling songs

from nests



Everything suddenly was.

April Never Used To Be So Cold

Today two feet of snow

laying heavily over trees,

pines drooping with bulky branches,

snow sliding to their ends and cascading,

sudden and frequent.


Black walnut trees fractal

skyward and sideways,

willow vines draping like narrow chutes.


Sweet man of mine

drove me through

and down

mountain roads,

six something in the morning

worried for me to do it alone,

worried of ice, of sloppy streets

with too much winter

for me-


the roads plowed, of course, already,

melting already

from where the streets held sun

in yesterday’s spring.

You wrote me once, in apology

Long shadows lean

over long streets

like a memory,


like the way I loved you,



The lake was still frozen this morning

I thought it should have thawed by now,

sun laying softly

over the hard of water

like the way I think of you,


soft sun in fragile spaces.

By The Small Pine At The Edge of Yard

Maybe it was a prairie dog or a ground hog

showing from under the snow

as it began to melt


The dogs discovered it this morning

slightly mauled, its hair planed

and clumped in wet directions.


Jake threw it on the other side of fence

to rot out of reach,

the dogs sitting in soft whine

tails wagging

at their loss.


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