Don’t ask me to confess my deeds. They’re mine.
Admission means to let another in,
An expectation truly asinine,
Like athletes sharing credit for a win.
Whose legs could those have been, if not my own?
Whose breast thrust forth to break the waiting tape?
The runner claims the victory alone;
Round one neck only does the medal drape.
They mouth the well-rehearsed “my team” cliches,
But in the end the credit and the blame
Are property of they who claim the praise
As cosigned by the crowds who praise the claim.
So long as I’m the only one aware
Of what I’ve done, I won’t be asked to share.


If music is the food of love (and look,
We really should have settled this by now–
It’s been 400 years), a music book
Should hold the recipes that tell you how
To make somebody fall in love with you
Instead of someone whom they would prefer
If they could choose by whom they’re catered to:
“I’d like it rare, with cheese, and cooked by her.”
If, hypothetically, it’s ethical
To burrow through the stomach to the heart
And woo-pitch via means comestible,
A Betty Crocker guide would be a start.
If you’ve a Bard-on, though, watch portion size:
Love’s appetite, when sickened, often dies.


My love is nothing like a fridge magnet:
She has more depth than breadth; she doesn’t cling;
She isn’t rendered useless when she’s wet;
She’s not a souvenir of anything.
Comparisons of her to flowers will
Be ultimately unconvincing; she’s
Unclear on what to do with chlorophyll
And rarely reproduces using bees.
My love has fewer legs than spiders do
And fewer teeth than almost every shark
And though she’ll weave a web ensnaring you,
She won’t drown if she’s left too long in park.
No tchotchke, blossom, bug, nor fish is she;
My love has proved immune to simile.

Sonnet Day

Look, I know this isn’t very good.
I wish I had the energy to care
Enough to craft this verse the way I should,
But that tank’s drier than my underwear,
Of which I’m prouder than I should admit
Since I’ve been years inside these big boy pants
And only rarely soil where I sit
Or smell like peers in Louis XIV’s France,
But childhood victories are extra sweet
And leave an aftertaste that’s hard to shake
And draws you in, in hopes you might repeat
That glorious feat, a thirst you’ll only slake
When aging’s unavoidable decay
Puts underpants at risk on Sonnet Day.

The Lucky Ones

I have my father’s eyes (if not his hair)
And I’ve been told our “aspect” is the same
(By which they mean, I think, our underwear).
Don’t like my sense of humor? He’s to blame.
He wasn’t the inventor of these traits,
However: He had parents, too,
Who got them from their own folks, grands, and greats;
They’d see themselves today in things we do.
My father’s mother’s humor, strength, quick wit,
And creativity: He took a taste
And passed it on. I gladly snagged a bit;
It’s clear my children likewise have been graced.
The blood of Helen Johnson Collins runs
Through all our veins. (At least the lucky ones.)

Passive Digression

Yesterday I said I have no words
And it was very quickly pointed out
That such a statement is what logic nerds
Would call an oxymoron. Without doubt,
I am possessed of words, which I then shared
(Oxymoronically, so good for you
For spotting that) in hopes I’d be compared
With Malcolm X because of my haiku.
Like Malcolm, any necessary means
Of protest will be willingly employed
By me, but passively: Disruptive scenes
In public I endeavor to avoid.
So, with humility, I’d like to say
Trump’s kidnap policy is not okay.

Leave ‘Em Laughing

Fear of fatherhood was never
Something that bedeviled me.
Infants simply aren’t that clever!
I was sure they wouldn’t see
How grossly unprepared I was
To teach them how the world works.
The proof is in the pudding, ’cause
They’re grown-ups now, and rarely jerks.
I’m older, too, which means I’m wise,
So here’s the secret: Read ahead!
And when you’re stumped, be sure your lies
Are silly, so they go to bed
Still giggling at what you said.
They’ll still be laughing when you’re dead.