Living His Best Life

My dog, Kit, struts
on the last half block
of our walk.

He was successful
in diverting me to the retirees’ home
where belly rubs and bacon treats waited.

A careless squirrel
passed within less than a foot of him.

If Kit was less full
he might have caught it

(at least that is what I think
he tells himself
as he struts home).

I am hungry after all the side quests.
I call the pizzeria to put in my order.

Kit starts howling
at the words “chicken fingers”.

He knows that means it’s pizza night.
He knows there will be left over crusts
and more belly rubs.

The girl on the other end laughs.
She hears him too.

“Can you imagine that,” I say,
“He was actually shy when we first rescued him?”

"I tell you I was t-h-i-s close to catching that rodent!"

Liner Notes for This Groove: This poem was inspired by the prompt given at Poets and Storytellers United, Keeping it Real. Yes my dog is really this ridiculous. Most of my neighbors can vouch for it.


Amid the soup of my innards,
I am searching for hints
of what I may yet be.

Nothing is familiar
in these runny remains
of a life that no longer exists.

Liquid eyes are blind.
I must trust completely
in the memory of the shine 
of kindly stars.

I can still feel
the edges of me 
wrapped up 
in the strength 
of that remembered fire

and in other things that insist
that my dissolved being is still whole.

Happy and strange words are my home
creating a place for me to make sense of it all—

a place for me to remember myself.
When it is over

the flowers and leaves I’ve always adored
will still be cherished, 
in a new way.

And I will fully know
the sky I was meant to fly in
with no fear of falling.

Photo by Evie S. on Unsplash

Liner Notes for this Groove: This poem was created for the Weekly Scribblings prompt at Poets and Storytellers United, Equinox. I chose to incorporate the words "Happy and strange words are my home".


We are suited to each other,
I think.

She is patient
with my lack of experience,
not minding the absence of green
in my thumb.

Mint curls a tendril around me.
“I will teach you,” she says.
“All you want to know.”

For starters, she is independent.
Take her inside over the winter
and she will wither. It is no kindness
to keep her from the world she loves.

But that doesn’t mean
she’ll shun all attention.

Check in on her
on dry, hot days.
Mint loves to stay a little wet,
but not drown.

She makes a lovely companion
in the quiet of your back porch.
But mind that she’s in a place that suits you both.

Otherwise, she’ll run wild
over the rest of your garden
until all you can taste is her
on the heavy summer air.

There is something about mint
that plays well with my energy.
There is something familiar and dear
about her tingle.

There is something about mint that feels
like the sweetest magic I’d forgotten
or pushed away.

But mint holds no grudges.
So long as I respect her
she rewards me

with a bright, effusive flavor
that lingers in my mouth
or her distinctive scent
on my hand when I stroke her.

Photo by SIMON LEE on Unsplash

Liner Notes For This Groove: This poem was created for the prompt given by Poets and Storytellers United, Mining the Journals. I like to take notes on plants I try growing for various and sundry purposes. LOL, mint is the first plant I really tried to grow. It helps a lot that I enjoy a cup of mint tea blend in the evenings.

Of Sound Minds and Bodies

When asked what I was like as a child, my go-to answer is “pretty much your average paperweight.” Leave me in a spot with a book and there I’d stay until someone came to pull me out of my mental Narnia. As you might imagine, I wasn’t all that physical of a child (unless music was involved—I did and still do love to dance).

I first started working out as a teen because of vanity, then kept it up because of the mood boost I get. As I’ve mentioned other times on the blog, I even learned to appreciate playing sports as an adult. Fitness is a regular part of my routine.

I was proud of myself for keeping up with working out through the pandemic, because even when I was tired, I still wanted that endorphin bump and feeling of accomplishment. Then a few days after I came back from vacation, I rolled my ankle and managed to tweak a ligament on the top of my foot.

I won’t lie. I had lots of ‘poor me’ thoughts for the first few days (especially when I was told I might have broken something). And it didn’t help that I relied on that mood booster in the months that followed a very dear friend’s death (to be honest, I still have horrible days where grief swallows me whole). But I remembered the example of another dear friend, who keeps getting some wicked curveballs thrown at her fitness routine. If one way is closed, try another, and another, until something works.

Turns out YouTube is quite helpful for finding routines you can do without putting weight on your foot. I don’t get the same rush, but it was mentally soothing to me to be able to do them, and then graduate to walking around the block later. Last week I got cleared to go back to my usual routine. I’m glad I took it slow and didn’t reinjure myself. 

My long-term fitness goal is to be the abuelita chasing her grandkids on the playground. But I have a new appreciation for the short-term mood boost benefits too. My body and brain are finally on the same page.

Me in my favorite work-out clothes. Shown here are my 4 main moods:
earnest nerdiness, stoically processing trauma,
cheerleader for family and friends, and MURDER EXPLOSION QUEEN.

Song Choice: Dance Again by Selena Gomez

Liner Notes for this Groove: This was written in response to the Weekly Scribblings prompt given at Poets and Storytellers United, Take Care of Your Body.