Mismatched Cups

Free Verse Poetry-For Poetry Workshop Class.

“Mismatched Cups” 2002        

As long as there
Are coffee shops
With mismatched cups,
And hometown bands
Who change the words
To their songs,
I will look behind me,
And hope to see you there.
As long as trains come
On warm summer nights
When you’ve just
Bought ice cream, and
Your grandmother
Tells you more than
You ever wanted to know
About your grandfather,
I’ll stand beside you
To protect you
From yourself and others.
As long as lovers
Get caught in storms
That end in rainbows, and
Stars fall where only
Some dare to notice,
I will honor you, and
Fight for you
With my life.

This poem has a hidden meaning. Can you find it?

My love history and why I never wrote about my husband until now

Let me warn you: This post is long.

Something my husband and I talked about before he helped me launch this website was the fact that I wrote a lot of material about someone I loved before I met him. I was worried that what I wrote a long time ago would hurt my husband, something I would never do intentionally. Now my husband, Jonathan, is very blunt, as anyone who knows him will tell you. He told me specifically that he is not threatened by my past because it made me who I am—the woman he loves. We talked about my past and his while we were getting to know each other.

So, how did we meet? Jonathan was working as a night building manager at Arkansas Tech in the Student Services Center. I was a student working on a practicum during the summer. Just to clear up any ethical issues: I was a graduate student, 22 years old, almost 23, and Jonathan was 25. He was not my supervisor. I’ll admit, I thought he was cute when I first saw him, but given my track record and a recent broken relationship that ended a friendship, (another story—see below) I figured Jonathan was taken. Well, he wasn’t.

Continue Reading “My love history and why I never wrote about my husband until now”

Moving On

Rhythmic Poetry-For Poetry Workshop Class.

“Moving On” 1-29-02

Cobblestones near the wood-stove
Were often houses and roads
For the sisters’ matchbox cars
During stormy summer nights
When their game was make-believe.

They made elevators of
Sheets for stuffed dogs and dolls on
Stairs where little sister’s head
Got caught in the banisters.
Momma’s butter stopped her tears.

The circle driveway became
Never ending when their bikes
Were not locked in the garage.
Traffic accidents ended
Then with only bleeding knees.

Three sisters help pack boxes.
They can’t pack the cobblestones,
Or the staircase where they played.
But nothing is forgotten,
Because all homes have old dreams.


I was always grateful to receive constructive criticism on my work. This person was blunt, but influential, as apparent by the fact that I have saved this note for more than fourteen years. He’s the same person who commented on Too Much. I made some of his suggested changes and took his other thoughts into consideration to get the final poem. Ultimately, I did not take his suggestion to change the title because I felt very strongly about leaving it the same. I didn’t take this person’s suggestions word-for-word on fixing the last stanza because then it wouldn’t be my work.

The original last line was:

But nothing is left behind
Because all homes have old dreams.

I did, however, change my words to convey the message I meant to while maintaining my seven beats per line rhythm. Seven beats had the significance of representing the seven years difference in ages of the oldest and youngest sister. The poem was better after the changes. Sometimes what I write gets in the way of what I’m trying to say.