Stamp Box Ritual


I used to reach for it. . .

tiny brass birthday cake-like,

seed-sized oval atop

held the box together

but disaster

if unscrewed, which I did,

many times.


Sun darkened metal, from sitting

on his window ledge,

little side slit

exposed that



and blue

ribbon of stamps.


Black flecks from tarnished

nicks and scratches,

(some from when I dropped it)

my small hands gripped,

rubbed fluffy green felt



He used so many stamps

running for office,                  IMG_6791

sending spicy letters

to litigants.


I watched the stamp ribbon,

as it dwindled,

he would ask me to

unscrew the little oval

and refill,

as though

a sacred ritual

only we could fulfill.



March 1, 2019

Visions of Deedle

There it is,

a flash in the corner of the eye —

Look full on, nothing, but a laugh.

Still, there is something,

a glimpse of her plaid house dress,

her nose pressed up against the lilac.

A rag tied around her pink curlers,

one strand floats free.


The skeptic,

a shake of the head, a smile unnerved.

Another day, another flicker,

a brush of tail, spirals

around a fire-charred oak,

but the dogs don’t even look

or sniff the air.


A sparkle next to the sun,

confronted, fades like a vapor trail when

even so, wings rustle and tickle the ear.

No feathers, no call, no streak across the sky.


Burst through the door, distracted

there she is again, disappearing,

while the bird feeder swings,

newly full of seed.