Published her first book of poems this year titled "Carrots & Bleu Cheese Dip" which is available through <<>>. Her daughter still plays the piano, her son still runs track, and she is still disabled. Oh, and she turns 48 this year. She is enormously proud and honored to have her work published in Tryst.

The song of loss and hope

dogwood trees snow white and pink
their petals pushed down to the grass
which cannot help but feel their weight

the dog herself cannot stand up
because a breeze would bring collapse
beneath the clouds in half-sunlight

for when the rain's like slantwise knives,
like rusting grates, like pain enough
the curtain's drawn against the sight

and no one watches what they want
when night forgets to bring the stars
and dusk broods long on city streets

a penny please, a penny sir!
she shouts, she stops, she drags herself
when passing ears have lost their youth

distraction holds them all in place -
the girl, the dog, the rained on night
are left behind to seek themselves

to find the grass or something else
which cannot speak or hurt or spill
a drop of water from the well

Some trees aren’t so deep

as you make them seem
poet-man, with your fretful verbs
& dangling participles.

Even oaks are simple things
hearing their music in wind, birds, their own leaves
and disregarding yours,

a music too small to hamper their reaching to the sky
with prayers to sunlight
and rain.

We are the trees you're speaking of, our bark
the hide your words will pierce -
not with your love, but with pride in self -

a speaker of verse, enchanter of boys
seeking to change real skin, breath and blood
into saplings, which

will not despise the axe
so swiftly entering their flesh,
but beg for its bite,

for the voice heard, the fluted music
of your whispers,
the damned breath of your fame.

While waiting for a stone to be placed


Not seizure, motion -
the butterfly's flit of wings in the breeze,
without specific direction,
with only its flight as the key.


Shadows lie in wait for me.
Even the dark won't dispute the reach
they make with their limbs.

The mystery is in temptation. Friends
speaking behind your back, knives out,
quick stabs, then a lapse

into compassion. A flower that opens
then shuts, a prison of petals
beautifully rough in embrace.


Avoidance is absence
mollified, stifled, the empty resistance

of the hand sweeping past
and finding no match for its strength

no antagonist. Covered up
and forgotten in the wake of this movement

she lurks behind in the stillness.
Come play! she begs.


Yes, he cried. I saw the tears.
She doesn't believe because the words
were not hers: spoken to the whirlwind
with her voice of open sores.

How to explain the sadness of men
to this girl child of mine?
That not all speech can be heard?
That even male eyes can sing about loss,
have regrets no voice knows?

We have our prayers, she and I,
and a certain comfort that is,
but what does he have
within this body enclosed?

Only my skin against his, shoulders abreast,
the touch of our arms
fingers, hands - the texture of this.


My tasks no longer put off, I celebrate
under sun, under clouds,
the sweat which cools down my skin,

the high ceilings of stores I walk in,
the filtered glow of trac lights,
all the stuff on display when I look about.

The pleasure I see of a young man at work,
selling to me what I want,
is my gift, and I get back

his self-satisfaction. His competent face
the sure sign that life
wants to find grace, forget grief.

Payment's on credit.
I don't have the cash.


My sister says I've known worse
and I don't argue the point.

But it's not the blow of the hammer
when what shatters is glass.

Copyright © 2004 T. Birch