Thirty other people–all strangers to me except the noted poet Diane DiPrima, whose work I’ve admired for years–have gathered online and committed to send a postcard with an original poem to each person on the list every day in August. If all goes as it should, each of us should receive thirty postcards/poems.

Instead of commercial postcards I’ve used 4″ by 6″ prints of my photographs and–just recently–4″ by 6″ file cards on which I glue a magazine image that’s caught my fancy. Like a doofus, I sent off my first cards without copying down the poem or noting the photograph I used.

At the very first I sent several people one American Sentence, the 17-syllable Western equivalent of haiku. Thinking back, that seems a bit skimpy, so I think I’ll send those people another offering.

Here are two recent pieces.

“Poem for My Aunt”

the old woman is dying, will die in six weeks
if not a month, but already the formerly
managed dementia now in full sway
from mismanaged medication
has taken her away from herself and
those who love her, leaving her to pluck
the sheet and whimper sounds that
are less than speech, she who might
have shed her body in the full knowledge
of being loved

I used a photograph of an Easter lily in a colorful pot made by a friend. The pot sits on the table on my patio and is seen in a reflection through the screen door.

And now “How She Laughs”

she is the woman who fills my mind’s I
lives in how I think of myself
when I avoid mirrors and hard thought
unaffected charming girlish
nonchalant about her beauty
she has an innocence any crone would envy
and the crone I am becoming
replete with skin tags wrinkles and thinning hair
beset by obstinate extra pounds
and ridged fingernails that are too quick to split
cannot understand either
how this one stays alive in me
or why no one ever asks her to dance

I used a magazine illustration of a young woman laughing, her eyes downcast, her hand up to her mouth.

Now a couple of American Sentences, written in response to a photograph of St. Gregory’s Palm Sunday procession:

Sunshine lights our way as we go toward the darkening week ahead.

He is ahead of us, riding on an ass, on a road we’d avoid.

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