Codfish Dinner

On a cold, gray 
Michigan winter evening,
we sit to dinner.

Codfish, mashed potatoes, canned corn; 
all cold.
The fish is old;
fried to leather, 
it smells like rancid ocean.

No one speaks.
I push fish flakes 
among corn nibblets,
unable to clean my plate.

My grandmother giggles.
My mother titters.
I look to my right.

With brown eyes dancing
above his solemn face,
my little brother wears
a mashed potato beard

Surfing in Love

When I married the first time,
we went body surfing.
I thought it was like 
making love;
riding waves, 
being in control. 

When I first met you,
I thought about body surfing.
I felt it was like 
being in love.
We rode the waves; 
controlled each other.

We rolled and tumbled, 
cavorted and rode on waves,
were lost in them as they crashed down upon us, 
threw us into the sand at the bottom; 
gritty, full of kelp, 
broken dreamshells, 
stinging jellyfish.
The strands of our needs, like kelp vines, 
wound round and round our legs. 
We could not flee;
threw ourselves upon yet another wave, 
cried out that we wanted the ride. 

We needed each other. 
The ride was all we needed: 
to be you and me together, 
high upon another wave, 
one more time. 

Your heart stopped beating.

The riptide tore you out of my arms. 
Oh! My darling!

I ride the surf alone.
On the shallow waves, 
your shadow ebbs away
in the still mirror.