A Morning in Carmel

I’ve heard it say serenity
is dull – no edge to fall from,
nor grit to rub against.
No hint of a wound, like a movie
without sex or violence,
like the young child chirping in her stroller,
her mind entwined with one piece of clear tape
she winds and unwinds through her fingers
while her parents browse the leisurely sidewalks,
waft through the arched doorways where it is enough
to find 18th century armoires carved
from unimaginable trees,
and leaded glass lamps, bluish light through their panes
like the belly of Monterey Bay;

in the mother’s hand – an almond biscotti,
a coffee cup warming the palms of the father,
all the tourists gone home for the season,
and late November sun offering them
all it knows of light –
here they are, these three –
they woke up this morning, ate their waffles,
swallowed their vitamins and brushed their teeth,
they’d had no plans for the undemanding
goodness of the world to be theirs.

I am the author of four poetry collections, most recently We Lit the Lamps Ourselves from Salmon Poetry in Ireland. My poems appear widely online and in print. I live in Madison with my husband, daughter and my cockapoo puppy.