"Memories are stored in things."


Mom unfolds her final list                                                               
By each treasure is a name
She needs to make sure each child knows
What will pass to them one day

 All I want is the kitchen table
Though it leans on worn-out wheels
It bears witness to being a family
And how that kind of love feels

This humble stick of furniture
Weathered by a hundred years 
Bathed in milk and honey        
Stained sweetly by our tears
Burnished by crazy laughter
This battered hero full of hope
Mama’s table is my live oak

A creaky tilted table
With roots no one can see
A memory in every groove
Once a branch from an ancient tree

A cool hand on a fevered brow
Hands of cards into the night
High chairs and heartaches
Are all there in black and white


I see a cupcake with sprinkles
And a little white box of treats
I trace the smooth round edges
Where the generations meet


"For the women of Ocracoke"


She’s singing in her kitchen
While she rocks and sews
Her man’s out on the water
“Old Drum” boiling on the stove

Through her kitchen curtains
A melody floats so sweet
On the breeze
Down the lane
To my heart
Across a sandy street

Joe Bell flowers
Blooming brave in the rough
Tempests may toss you
But you pull through
Joe Bell flowers
Beautiful and yet so tough
With some rain
A little sun
Just enough
You’ll become
The little crumbs
I find that bring me home
The ocean whispers softly
Through the cedars and the dunes
I whistle in my kitchen
Cooking up my words and tunes
I close my eyes to hear her
Sing her children down to sleep
And I weep
Nighty night
And sleep tight
And pray your soul to keep


Time will cast our seeds
To the wind
And we’ll bloom here
And everywhere we’ve been