I received an MFA in Creative Writing from Wichita State University and
currently teach at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park,
Kansas. In my work, I combine my interests in Midwestern life, history,
folklore, and poetry. Publications which have accepted my poetry include the following: Midwest Poetry Review, Alabama Literary Review, New Delta Review, Aethlon-The Journal of Sport Literature, The MacGuffin, The Cape Rock, American Western Magazine, 3rd Muse Poetry Journal, The Green Tricycle, Ariga, Miller's Pond Poetry Magazine, Eclectica, Strange Horizons, Sidereality, Potpourri, and Prairie Poetry.

Stray Cat

The cage lies in the weeds,
door hanging on a hinge,

empty but for two hair clumps
and a spilled food tray.

My daughter
has freed another stray cat,

caught by the neighbor
she calls "The Cat Lady,"

hater of all things feline,
all things wild and free,

which search for scraps
and live in drains,

prowling at night through
decent folk's back yards.

I call my daughter's name
as I search the park,

cheering her on!
Somewhere the gray tabby

beneath the streets
licks its wounds

and gnaws a chicken bone,
growling at the dark.

I know satisfaction
that comes with letting go

as well as fear
that wants to lock things up.


At first,
it is only
a steady whirring,
possibly a pebble
grinding within

Then a blur
of wings inside
the window cracked
to the heat,
touching my thumb
only for a moment.

Not a leaf,
I tell myself,
sensing a presence
across my arm,
then stirring
above my waist.

Car wheels
graze the median,
and steering back,
I glance down
at the dark spot
below my chest.

Filled with terror,
I begin to struggle
flailing arms
against my chest
to knock it away.

The car swerves
into gravel
as I stab at it
with a finger
and clench a fist
to stop the sound.

Even after the blur
and sound
the hand keeps
flailing away,
unaware of success.

breath slows.
The only sound
is the whine of
tires gripping

The hand which
grips the wheel
slowly relaxes.
Somewhere in
the truck cab,
it too relaxes.

Perhaps as
frightened as I,
it now waits for
what comes next,
the uneasy bargain
when both survive.

The car speeds up,
and a gas receipt
rattles in the wind,
begins to thrash
about the cab
like a wounded moth.

Both of us contemplate
this brief coexistence,
how it occurred
and how it will end,
as miles tick away
and daylight fades.

January Train

The train in January
slips through unnoticed,

cutting across fields,
over the frozen creek,

its horn blast, if sounded,
muted by falling snow.

If its wheels run on tracks,
they are disguised by drifts.

If the deer glanced up
from tufts of dead grass

does it detect a shadow,
a blur of rusted cars,

rumble of wheels,
or nothing at all?

If, in the brick house
around the bend,

the woman suddenly awakes
to a steady vibration,

water on the nightstand
quaking in the glass,

does she close her eyes
and return to sleep,

or does she rise
to check her dying father,

his downstairs room
suddenly free of snores,

tiptoeing on bare feet
on wooden floors,

pushing open the door
to find him gone.