By the Sweat of Her Brow



By the sweat of her brow,

she has raised them –

three strapping sons

to block out their 

father’s deadbeat shadow.

And the tender concern

with which they plant 

kisses on hope-spattered

cheeks paints each

drop of perspiration 

a work of art.


A Star Is Born

Birch Star

His words and actions

cut deep, with razor-thin precision,

and what is more messy

than bleeding vows?

While she never ordered

open-heart surgery,

she already knows

that her scabs

will make her a