Out of the proverbial top hat, like a rabbit, pulled. Imagine that was your beginning! The tooth fairy, Santa Claus, imaginary friends with extraordinary powers turned your focus into addiction with hocus-pocus and fiction. Language lent a sleight-of-hand to every word that you would understand. It could animate the heartless, motivate the remote, dictate the absurd— then capture the impossible, conjure up the invisible. With youth and health you could pretend there was no end. Love made you a mind reader; compassion and forgiveness, a sword-swallower. Everything was billed as “death-defying” because you were a survivor. The days spilled over. Even in hard times your soft smile could fool us, and make-believe this was worth your while. All acts would lead to your straitjacket escape, when the drums rolled as they drew back the black drape and opened the locks: a shroud of linen in an empty box.
In 2016, I moved out to Port Townsend, WA, after retiring as curator of historic maps at Princeton University Library. I’ve traveled widely, preferring remote, natural settings, and am addicted to kayaking and hiking. In 2017, I published Waypoints (Pleasure Boat Studio, Seattle), a collection of place poems. Twenty Questions, a chapbook, appeared in 2019 from Finishing Line Press.