Fortune Teller

 I found the fortune teller 
 at the foot of the unnamed mountains to the east

 Claiming to cast spells and read palms
 she wanted gold shells for payment 
 but all I had was a worn copy of The Sun Also Rises

 Along the road I saw a man
 his oiler’s cap was tilted at a jaunty angle
 a Purple Water vanity kit rattled in his pocket

 As I looked for fresh fonts
 and teenage angst
 he walked past me into the young sunlight 



You’re Still Teaching Me


When I was younger, 
I would think
I don’t learn neat things from you 
like my friends from their dads.
I didn’t learn to hunt, ride a snowmobile, or fix a car.
I wondered how you knew about fixing things around the house.
How was I going to remember it all?
Why didn’t you know how to fix a car, or hunt?
How I wished you did.
Years later,
I don’t like to hunt, ride snowmobiles or fix up cars.
I like to build porches,
talk about landscaping,
how to unclog pipes.

You let me to learn from my mistakes,
to find my way,
offering guidance
even when I didn’t listen
(I learned my stubbornness from you too).
I have two boys of my own. 
You’d be eighty-one this year, 
but you’ve been gone for nine.

I miss talking to you.
But you’re still teaching me.






The Horseman


Stocky and solidly built
The wide brimmed hat shading
His weathered face from the mid-day sun

A man of 86
Not one to mince words
Requesting one last ride before he kicks off

“I was practically born on one of these”
A longing in his eyes
He recounts distant memories
A log cabin in the Western Nevada mountains
An uncle raising horses

In the saddle now,
He guides the horse around the corral
A mischievous grin spreading across his face



Pour your emotion onto the floor.

When you no longer look with forlorn eyes

you will see hope.