A Plane Flew Over the Trees

Times slowed down as the noise grew loud.
I looked back at my mom, she was covering her ears with her hands.
"Wow, that's a very loud truck," she yelled.
Suddenly, I looked up and there was a plane right above us.
"Look!" I yelled and pointed to what I was seeing.
It looked like the plane was falling out of the sky.
It looked like an old military plane
I'd see in history textbooks in high school.
Black with propellers on the wings.
Time froze as we froze, unsure of what to do.
It felt like it was there for longer than it was.
The plane continued to graze the tree tops as it flew away from us.
We paused and looked at each other.
"Clearly, we would hear a boom if it crashed," my mom said.
We waited a few seconds for a boom, but we didn't hear anything.
We were close to the bottom of the mountain.
We walked a little faster down the trail. 
People in the parking lot were talking about the plane.
"Airplane, low. Airplane, low." A toddler repeated.
Good to know we weren't alone, I thought.

The Very Unhealthy Air Quality Gave Me A Headache

September 6th, 2020
Masks for COVID
doubles as mask
for very unhealthy air quality.
I go to the gas station
the day before a snow storm.
In summer!
It's supposed to snow
and there are still green leaves on trees.
It's early September
but it's clear climate change doesn't care
What time of year we're in.
Early September!
But whatever.
It still blows my mind
a sixty degree temperature
drop is happening tomorrow.
People are at the pool right now.
On Labor Day.
This year is weird.
Anyway, I get out to pump gas
and the smell of ash
lingers in the air.
It's so uncomfortable,
it's difficult to breathe.
I have my mask on,
The guy pumping gas
next to me has his mask on. 
I'm not the only one who knows
there's more than one benefit
to wearing a mask.
Who knows where
the smoke is coming from.
We got a warning about it
on our phones last night.
Current weather:
Very Unhealthy Air Quality!!
88 degrees.
At least the sunset looked cool.
I get back in my car and go
pick up my medication
at the drive-thru Walgreens.
It's only when I get home
do I realize the very unhealthy air quality
gave me a headache!
Headaches are triggered
very easily for me these days.
I drink a Diet Coke
and swallow two ibuprofen.
11:00 AM on the first Monday
In September.
Smoke is heavy in the air,
a snow storm tomorrow.
What is now?

Central Park, Deck 8

Golden Hour. Symphony of the Seas. Royal Caribbean. July 2019.
The one place I can find peace and quiet.
Central Park, Deck 8.
Above me, chaos ensues.
Children screaming, parents yelling.
The beauty of being on a large boat.
I sit under the shade of a cabana
With a Starbucks and a book.
I try to write but I can't think of anything.
Too much noise. My quiet place under
The sun is surrounded by activity.
I may not see it but I hear it clearly.
People around me roam and chat.
I sit in silence, turning to my phone,
The only way to block everything out.
Later in the evening, the chaos settles
And musicians play as people sit and chat.
I look up at the sky, clouds are faint in the distance.
Golden hour on a boat is pretty spectacular.

36th Street

After a long day of speech therapy
and wandering around the city,
I take a shortcut to return back to my hotel.
36th street.
A random street.
The sun has disappeared behind the clouds.
The street is quiet,
a welcomed change from Park Avenue.
I'm halfway down between
Park and Lexington
when I notice a flag
hanging from one of the homes.
Out of all the streets I could have turned on, I think.
I had been on this street before.
I had taken a photo of this flag through a rainy window.
It was pouring in October.
Mom and I were leaving the city,
as the reminisce of a hurricane was passing through.
We were stressed and soaked
from being caught in the rain
And our flights being delayed.
I took a photo when the car was stopped,
not thinking much of it.
Here I am, almost a year later,
golden hour on an August evening,
walking down the street.
Tired and happy.
Alone and content.
I smile and take a photo of the flag.
Rainy Afternoon. NYC. October 2017
Quiet Evening. NYC. August 2018.

My Happy Place

Camp. Maine. August 2019
When someone asks me
Where my happy place is,
I tell them it's on a lake
In the middle of Maine.
My aunt and uncle's camp.
A beautiful view, right by the water,
The camp has a cozy feeling
With a screen porch facing the lake
And an incinolet so you don't always have to use the outhouse.
There's always a puzzle in-progress on the table
And lots of quiet places to read.
In the evening, we take the boat out
To admire the different camps
Around the lake while drinking wine.
Then we roast marshmallows and share stories.
When the stars come out,
We lay on the dock
And look for shooting stars.
I'm reminded of how small
I am compared to the sky.


Grateful

Grammie’s House. Cape Neddick, Maine. August 2019.

The morning began with stillness. I watched as the sun rose over the horizon and filtered through the trees, still half asleep. My mother’s childhood bedroom, flower wallpaper, a quilt on the chair in the corner, two small vases on the window sill. I’d wake up most mornings I slept here and watched this view become brighter before rolling over and falling back asleep. A fan blowing air was the only sound in the quiet house I always felt was my home away from home. The place I went to every summer for twenty-five years. I will always cherish the memories I made here. I’m forever grateful for the stillness of summer mornings in Maine.

August in the City

View from where I wrote this poem. NYC. August 16th, 2019.

I wrote this poem last year on a park bench in Washington Square Park.

I carried an umbrella,
walking down Fifth Avenue,
waiting for the rain to fall.
I held one of Patti Smith’s first
books at the Strand.
I admired Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs
at the Guggenheim.
I told a man from Africa about
Toni Morrison in Central Park.
I was forced to cross the street
due to security in front of
the Flatiron building.
I heard different languages in elevators
and on sidewalks.
I had a conversation about the weather
with a girl from Jersey
who lives in Brooklyn.
I listened to a band play
in Washington Square Park
on a Friday afternoon.
I endured uncomfortable benches
because I wanted to stay outside
for as long as possible.
I tried to be productive
while people watching.
I noted every book I had read
while roaming around the Strand.
I explained to a woman the difference between
the local and express trains going Uptown.

Thoughts While On A Lake

Can I stand up on this paddleboard without falling in?
I'm not the most balanced person. But I can maybe try.
Compromise! I'll get up on my knees for a while
To see how I do. Genius idea. What a lovely morning.
Very few people out on the lake. No strong winds
To push me to shore or towards the dam.
Second time paddleboarding, I can do this.
One foot and then the other. It's not too hard..
I'm up! I'm doing it! Oh, there goes my friends.
They look so small from where I'm standing.
Why does this thing go so slow when I stand?
I'm coming! I'll catch up! Hey! Jumping fish!!
So many bubbles in this lake. I wonder what
Kind of fish live in here. Okay, I'm going to go around
These people who I don't know as best I can.
Don't hit the people! Don't hit the people!
What a lovely morning. Thinking something twice
Just makes it true. And I'm coming up to my friends.
Don't hit them. Slow down. How do I slow this...
Well, I hit them. A small bump. It's fine.
Wow, what a trek to get over here.
How long has it been? Half an hour?
It's calm out on the lake. It's great to enjoy
The view and not be on my phone.
The water feels nice on my legs. A little cold,
But it's a refreshing cold. Perfect for summer.
Oh, no! I'm too close to shore! Must paddle back out!
How do I steer this thing? It just wants to go...
I'm sitting backward. How did I not realize this?
There's a clear way of which is front and which is back
And I somehow got the two confused. Good job.
I'm a natural at paddleboarding. 

An Ode to Double Vision

Ten months without you
vanishes with your unexpected
return in late July. I liked you better
when you lived in my memories.
You came barging in without warning.
Your presence is most obvious
morning and night. I don't know
what you expect me to say,
I literally cannot see because of you.
I cannot read a book or look at my phone
without an interruption from you
telling me my eyes are changing once again.
Well, the migraines already informed me,
but I guess you're another messenger,
a bonus I never expected to see again.
But when I think about it, it makes sense.
Your appearance in my life once again.
If anything, you're a reminder to be
patient with myself. A sign of hope
that you will one day you leave
and never return. The ten months
I spent without you were wonderful.
It made the year you previously
spent with me seem like nothing in hindsight.

Nothing In Particular

Rain begins to fall
in late afternoon.
The summer breeze
is relaxing on my skin.
Solitude to calm the mind
as I sit outside is embraced
like a friend I haven't seen
in a while. A bee flies from
one sunflower to another.
I watch without fear
comforted by the
distance between
the flower and my
computer. Cicadas
chirp softly, the dog
I'm watching keeps watch
on nothing in particular.
I exhale a breath I didn't realize
I was holding. It is quiet,
both mother nature
and my thoughts,
soft and calm
with nothing in 
particular to say.