10:23 p.m. on 12/6/13

in a bed

in a hotel room

snowing and a single digit outside

it’s so cold in here

even with the thermostat past ninety-five

and i can’t snuggle


not even my dog


won’t let my face touch the pillow

just my hair

won’t let my skin touch the blanket or the comforter

just the sheets

i assume they’ve been washed

stomach rumbles

was expecting some dinner this evening

that didn’t happen

lack of communication

too cold to go out and get some

wifi isn’t working

lamp is too low, too dim to read by

so i just lie here



While I’m here in this motel room, my daughter is in the hotel meeting room. She’s mingling with inbounders and rebounders and other outbound candidates like herself. It’s District Rotary Youth Exchange weekend. She and 39 other candidates from across the state are vying for 28 available spots in 20 different countries.RYE

Inbounders are exchange students from other countries who have landed in the state of Colorado. They’re here, at this weekend event, as ambassadors to their community and country. Tomorrow they will “sell” their country, trying to get the candidates to list it as one of the top five places to which they’d like to be assigned.

Rebounders are students from our state who were abroad last school year and are now back at their local high school. They attend to talk about their experience and answer any questions the candidates and/or their parents may have.

Outbounders are what the 40 candidates hope to be – leaving their family, house, school, friends, and community for the life-changing opportunity to be a foreign exchange student.

Also here this weekend are more than 50 Rotarians from around the state. They will observe the candidates all weekend as they participate in structured activities and less structured social time. And they will conduct 120 interviews, two with each candidate and one with each candidate’s parent(s).

After a three-hour parent meeting this evening, I have much to consider as I lie here–cold, hungry, alone, uncomfortable–but all I can think about is what my daughter, if granted this opportunity, might feel like those first few nights that she lies in a strange bed, in someone else’s house, on the other side of the world, a new family to get to know, with cultural and language barriers, an ocean away from her people, her home, her life, the bed that has held her all these years.

How will her poem read?


A Moment in Time is a shared blogging experience, where writers document and share their stories from the same moment on the same day. The day and time for the next A Moment in Time is posted by Randee every few days in such a way that you’ll have a heads up on the exact moment to which you need to attend and focus on and, if it’s significant in some way, write about and add to the list.

To read what others were doing at this moment in time, click on the link below. And, think about participating in the next moment in time.  🙂


The Irony of It All


at work

kinda cold

not like your cold

been golfing a bunch

vacation coming up

prolly not gonna do much

nan isnt getting around any better

hows things w you


at home

noticed u have been abnormally quiet

cept fer yer creative writing

which needs no commending

crazy warm for November

u shood b making money w that

hey you’re getting in the middle of my poem



but not like your warm


been writing a bunch

poetry becomes u


weekend coming up

going camping, hiking, running, riding

you are?

all in one trip

jim’s got some time after months of working every day

and that’s how things are with me


well they sound very good

happiness becomes u as well

Maybe I’ll combine all of our mixed up lines and see how the poem turns out

do that

but dont blame me when it sux

It’s poetry, it can’t suck.

I will type up the poem after you go away, so that you don’t ruin it with your interjections.

Although your interjections made it what it will be.

How ironic is that??




Guess I kicked you out.

you are irony in prose

yes u did

i hate standing in the way of


then move it

move along now

Goal Setting and Grit

I asked a colleague of mine, Cindy Pearson, if I could share this poem of hers on my blog. She obliged, but said she might need to apologize to Maurice Sendak, the children’s author who wrote Pierre: A Cautionary Tale. I don’t think so; I’m sure he would appreciate her version of a cautionary tale. And I know you’ll like it, too.Pierre

Here’s the story of a family like yours

With a daughter and two sons, of course.

Their sweet daughter, it is true,

Always knew just what to do,

She was amazing as a learner

So this story does not concern ‘er.

Instead, the story I will tell

Is how these boys, both loved so well,

Took two very different paths

For learning reading, science and math.

One boy was praised for being smart.

The other learned to work with heart.

School was simple for Son One.

He passed with ease, had lots of fun.

“You’re very smart,” his parents cried.

“I know I am,” the boy replied.

“I don’t work hard, I just know it,

I get good grades and never blow it!”

Son Two was not as fortunate

He wanted to be lucky, but

He always struggled with his work.

“I just can’t do it.  I’m a jerk!”

His parents said, “You’re not, you see,

Your brain just functions differently.”

“Eat an elephant in just one bite?

It can’t be done; you know we’re right.

Dig in, work hard, and set a goal.

Your effort puts you in control

Of what you learn and what you know

You decide where you can go.”

So both boys went to college; though

For Son One it was a blow.

His grades were often very bad.

Which made him feel extremely sad.

“I’m not so smart any more,

I never had to work before!”

He said, “If I’m not really bright

Then going to college isn’t right.”

Son One decided to drop out.

He seemed paralyzed by his doubt.

Son Two was able to excel

Because of lessons he’d learned well.

Now the biggest regret for their mother

Is in the messages to each brother.

They praised Son One for being smart.

But Son Two got a stronger start.

Smart is good, but hard work’s better.

All kids should be great goal-setters.

My Teacher’s Allergies

My teacher has these allergies

That don’t seem like normal maladies.

Listen, and tell me, if you will,

If these behaviors make a teacher ill.

Burping and yawning, somewhat normal things,

Make my teacher’s eyeballs sting.

Say, “Excuse me” after you do it,

She’ll say, “Just stop. I’m allergic to it.”

Unpushed chairs and crooked tables

Cause a rash upon her elbows.

Dirty hands or food on your face?

Both will cause her heartbeat to race.

The drinking fountain during instruction

Will cause her tear duct’s abnormal function.

With tears streaming down her hot, red cheeks

She’ll say, “It’s my allergies; no more drinks for three weeks.”

Toys in kids’ pockets she’s not very good with.

Without your full attention joints get stiff.

And don’t dare mess with any of her stuff

Or the skin on her feet will start to get rough.

The sound of Velcro makes her sneeze,

Quibbling gives her itchy knees

Excuses, even if they’re true,

Make her ears turn black and blue.

Underwear showing, or worse, a butt crack,

Will make her allergies start to attack.

Her nose will run, her eyes will water,

Her hand on her head means she’s feeling hotter.

If on your skin you choose to write,

With my teacher it makes her throat go tight.

And don’t put those germy hands in your mouth.

She’s allergic to even the thought of filth.

No interrupting, no answering others’ questions.

These only worsen my teacher’s conditions.

Don’t pick your nose, don’t let it run,

The resulting reaction is a frightening one.

If you echo the teacher or somehow interfere

She’ll get a buzzing in her inner ear.

And jiggling or moving excessively

Will make her stomach bloat extensively.

If you raise your hand when you have a thought

And, when called upon, say, “I forgot,”

My teacher’s breathing practically stops

As all of her innards tie up in knots.

Noticing a spider on the floor

Won’t make her allergies act up more,

But if you mention it to the class

Her allergies are worse than any time in the past.

With my teacher we’ll never have opposite day.

Her hands swell when things don’t go just the right way.

Be sure not to let your zipper get stuck

Or my teacher, with her allergies, will be out of luck.

So, my teacher’s allergies… what do you think?

Will she really pour tears if you just get a drink?

Or is she just faking it day after day

To make sure we behave in a certain way?

Where I am Me


Across the threshold

Through the door

Back to reality.

I’ve been away

For just a day

To a place

Where I am me.

No obligations

Nor expectations


And agenda free.

Here I am mom,

Teacher, colleague,

Companion, neighbor,


But what am I

If none of these?


I contend.


So I step

Through this door

Back to reality.

Back to the place

Where I am known

Where I am known

As me.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Good Morning!


Sure, there are mornings when I’d rather sleep in

When I’d rather write than run

But I’ve made plans

That I must keep

With my running partner, Dawn.


Wicked Witch of the West

Start with this claWicked Witchssic image.

Scrap the long dress that would catch in the chain.

An above-knee skirt is less problematic.

Until there’s a headwind.

That posture? Befitting for a school marm.

But a deliberate lean is required on a mountain bike.

And no slick white walls rolling here.

It’s knobbies. Because, you see,

We’re not in Kansas anymore.

Trade the hat out for a helmet,

Owing to modern bicycle fashion.

And pavement.

A fashionable scarf versus that little black tie,

And dangly earrings and sunglasses

To accessorize.

The shoes—the heels at least—

Resemble those of the cowboy boots

That pedal this iron horse.

Lose the baskets and add a backpack.

Heart rate equal, I’d say,

Based on the music of the scene.

Spice up that sepia with the colors of fall

Then turn that frown upside down.

And there you have it—

A picture of me riding to work.


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