Orders came for a Cape Flattery lifeboat station:
had 48 hours to make arrangements, then move.
Traded my Mustang for a station wagon and cash.
Put down money on a small mobile home.
My husband was 21, just home from Nam.
I was 19, two months pregnant, stressed.
That night contractions began.
By morning, our baby was gone.
We loaded what little we had left, followed
semi and trailer house onto the ferry.
Drove for hours in pouring rain
Three years of isolated duty
as punishment for my anti-war protest.
He was military; I was civilian.
We both served the sentence.
Do not let the thorny leaves of the artichoke discourage you. Within this member of the thistle family lies a treasure for the palate and a boon to the body.
At the Farmers’ Market, edible flowers,
Castroville artichokes piled
in a jaunty green jumble.
Barbed globes conceal
tender hearts, translucent petals
inside their tough armor.
Pointy leaves range in color from brown
to black, purple, pale yellow.
One slip and sharp thorns will
sink fangs, leave painful scars
on an innocent finger.
I think of you, deceptively civil,
remember to maintain a safe distance,
Your smooth words seduce,
then sadistically cut to the core,like a thistle, sting for days after.