Monday, February 13, 2012

For My King

For My King

The Lion, lithe and regal…
I’ve heard it said his
steel claws lie in a bed of velvet,
ready to spring forth as needed.
I wouldn’t know of the necessity
for the closest I have gotten
to his majesty of the Savannah is you,
with your own tawny sleekness and a grace
in All things, more Royal than the cat.
A Strength to match with power proven
to be of intellect, kindness and gentility,
with a fine raw edge whose
Charisma draws me forth unbearably.
The Lion’s beauty is undeniable but cannot
Compare to yours among that long list of attributes
…so much to my liking.

Marsha Salerno
Valentine’s Day 2012

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Waiting Room

This is a place of equality
a place of expectation
where all who enter
hope for a quick and easy
Waiting on--
it could be anything--
innocuous reasons
or life and death.
But the waiting room
remains a place of expectation
where the result is unknown,
the future untold.
Resignation, boredom, protocol,
grief, excitement
quiet whispering, arguing
siblings, helpless bureaucrats
following endless rules.
Overheard parts of conversation are
tantalizing and mysterious.
Guessing background and stories
can ease boredom and
The longer the wait the more
it seems that an
answer will
be brought forth.
But all
are eventually released
from the waiting room.

Marsha Salerno


Driving at night
black road
black night
headlights attempt
Is it enough light?
Drive on -- blindly.
My body feels frozen
I am alone,
trying to trust the
other souls driving this
night-shrouded route.
My legs are gone.
Only the pressure of the pedal and my hands on the wheel exist.
My companion stirs
"Are you ok?"
I laugh,
paranoia ebbs.

Marsha Salerno

Daddy Sang That Song

It is bittersweet to
have a memory powerful and
complete that brings with
it a strong emotion,
a good memory that
a smell or song evokes
but seeing it now
with the loved one
brings a deep sadness
which cannot be quenched
with reason.
A reason which says
--Hey--it's good to
remember good times and pleasant things.
But the sadness
oozes out with tears
even though it is a smile
that should come and a
thankfulness for the memory
not this overwhelming

Marsha Salerno

Friday, July 17, 2009


Don't worry about me
I am content to observe
I am peaceful
until you disturb me
with your efforts of inclusion.
Persistence will not
pay you this time--
you are pushing me away.
What you offer as a carrot
is a stick to me.
It does not bring me peace
or lead me to a good place.
Increasing my patience,
I wait you out
and gain
freedom from anxiety.

Marsha Salerno July 2007

What is Real?

My perception is what I have.
Personal experience and worldly outlook
cause me to see a certain way.
I must live in myself
and activate my empathy
through observation,
conversation, and service.
If my reality is real,
I must strive to use
my own judgment
and see past
the affliction of television,
popular culture,
and envy.
I can not base my strength on
what I think
others love.
The answer lies
within me.

Marsha Salerno, July 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I clear a blank
area in the room
with the intention
of work space.

It is restful--
empty of things
a place to fill and create
no pictures
no clutter
no nothing

Leaving it awhile
I return to find
it filled with
my children who have
moved in
with their toy
castles, soldiers, kings
princesses and trains.

The space created
for imagination and ideas
filled just right.

Marsha Salerno May 2009


The modern farmer
attempts the work of
Native Americans--
of lightning.
He clears the land
and keeps the prairie free
of extraneous growth
where he cultivates
his crops and
allows his herds to graze.
But the plain misses
the pound of bison hooves--
aches for the heat of the flame.
For the plow is
not as discriminating
as fire.

Marsha Salerno June 2009

Barked Shin

Sudden Jolt
sparks through my shin
the electric intensity of
the pain disables.
I mute my obscenities--
expletive deleted.
Like in the comics,
I see stars.
I hobble because
it feels strangely better
to walk on the leg.
I examine my bruise,
poke at it
satisfied with the pain,
I return to my task,
a martyr.

Marsha Salerno June 2009

Herald of Summer

Plump green filled leaves
like thousands of Elm flags
branch into infinite
sun collecting parts.
The spring.
The beginning.
Anew the glorious
sun-activated chlorophyll,
designed with
solid roots
in the ground
massive trunk
branching smaller
and smaller
delicately ending
in the waiving tips
of the leaves.

Marsha Salerno June 2009

Short Rest

Someone whistles on tune an old
song, but I cannot recall the words.
I stand to see who,
and that feels good.
I have been picking tomatoes
so long that my fingertips
are black and green with the
residue of the pungent plant.
My strong brown hands
rest at my sides.
I bask in the shade of a fluffy cloud
and stoop to work again.

Marsha Salerno June 2009

Lonely Stand of Trees

An arc of trees
sprinkled with the green of early spring
stops the undulation of the prairie's flow.
Clouds hang low over
clumps of red, tawny grass.
The protection of a hollow
or the nourishment of
a stream allows
this small wood to
against the wind.

Marsha Salerno May 2009

Tidal Wave

Swept away
its emotion and feeling
lays on my heart
on my conscience
and stabs at my mind
Was it right?
Was it right?
The question repeats
until I relent
and I know
it was not
and I must--
even if my heart is harder
on me than it should be---
I must
ask forgiveness
of me
of them
of the Lord.

Marsha Salerno Spring 2009

Modern Life

Thoreau sought to
leave it all
and get away
from the trials
and distractions of civilization.
To increase his closeness to
nature and his productivity.
Henry David.
What would he think of
American life today
with endless opportunities
and avenues for fun
and distraction?

Marsha Salerno May 2009

Stillness Interrupted

A bare branch
scratches in my thoughts
its wind driven attention
flickers on the tree.
Gritty, grinding,
sandy thoughts
disturb the peace
in waves.
Wing-borne contentment
forces back the tides—
the wind, the sound.
Then a rampaging thing
onto the sand bank
covered all in dried grass
breaks up my mind.
Is it sanity I was seeking?
Or something

April 2009
Marsha Salerno

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Peach trees bloom
At the same time
each spring.
It is a matter of timing.
As the axis tilts,
the sun shines,
the air warms.
And the tree knows
the time has come.
It is a wonder that
come to fruition.
A late frost seems to often
wipe out the crop,
freeze the blooms,
full of hope and life,
and they fail.
Each spring, though,
the trees bloom,
to produce the fruit--
the progeny.
Knowing, sorrowfully,
what may happen,
and unable to
change Spring’s cruel course.

Marsha Salerno April 2009

Mourning Dove

the mourning dove calls
waiting for an answer
she calls again
Her coo is poignant—
at times it seems happy—
sometimes it seems hollow or pained.

Idly, I wonder about her mate
afraid to find his
gray feathers
strewn about
and he will be gone.

To my relief his call comes
distant, from the east
and she answers,

Marsha Salerno April 2009


You hold your hand against mine
like a mirror image.
You put on my shoes.
You measure your height against mine.
I am your measure.
I hope I am large enough.
My life touches
you in ways yet to be seen
as you watch my every day
actions and interactions.
I want to be worthy
of your admiration.
I hope I am a good example
who will inspire you and
bring you no harm,
and help you
to your best

Marsha Salerno 2009

An Elegant Terror

I close my eyes and see her again
Deep, glossy black
with a faint pattern
barely discernible on
her luxurious coat.
This panther is not
leaping for my jugular
or pouncing on my child.
Instead, she lies dead
in the dirt.
A fine dust
covering her body,
tongue protruding
through her saber-like teeth.
Flies buzz around her,
their iridescent green bodies
match the former glossiness
of her beautiful fur
now shoddy and sad
in the bright, hot morning light.
I return with a shovel,
unable to tolerate the thought of
of the encroaching ravens and buzzards
ripping through hair and flesh.
My shovel scrapes
with a satisfying rhythm
as the hole deepens
to bury this elegant terror.

Marsha Salerno Fall 2008


Under the close twigs
near the roots
of a buck-brush bush,
with tightly wrapped buds
waiting to bring forth gray green leaves
and deep red, tasteless berries—
in dark, dry grass
and a down lined funnel—
No moves
No sounds
No smells—
lie baby bunnies
waiting to grow into
their given place on the
cycle of life
some will be eaten
by hungry, growing predators—
who also must take their place—
others go forth to multiply
as the way of Nature

Marsha Salerno
April 2009

The Twilight of My Mind

Each night as I climb the stairs
to seek rest,
my body is tired
but I see my pen
and I think
just one,
one line and then
he will let me sleep.
But the twilight
fuels my hand as
my fingers grip the pen and my mind
frees with a fatigue
which leadens
my lids.
My mind leaps for the darkness
And as the moon climbs,
my muse stirs in his sleep.
His dreams arouse
my desire to create
a perfect image;
my hand races to
record the ethereal thoughts
before he fully turns
to embrace me
and I fall
into his sleep.

Marsha Salerno 2008

Bright Day

There's something in the air
A certain earthy smell.
The fragrance of grass, damp soil,
leaves ready to fall.
The cleanest light
beams onto this as
it glistens
upon a pond and
the newness of autumn
brightens my soul and
polishes it for winter.

Marsha Salerno Fall 2008


In the funeral stillness of the chapel
We wait.
Together we begin to sing
How Great Thou Art?
Our finish brings silence as
We wait.
The preacher's somber voice
brings words of solace, faith and forgiveness.
Prayer is quiet
and we wait
in the silence
as grief permeates the walls
and we soak in the enormity
of our loss.
Faith and salvation are the theme
as we learn that her
name is written
in the palm of God's hand
as He comes to take her home.
We sing Rock of Ages
The piano's final chords ring melancholy
in the impending silence.
The walls of the chapel
shudder with our realization.
We wait no more
and grief shines on our faces
as we rise to meet our
life without her.

Marsha Salerno September 2007

Autumn Angst

Each day shortens
Insects sing
louder, desperately.
days are welcome
but the price will be
death for all.
Beauty shines brightest
and most rare
cloaked in
russet browns
of autumn's golden
last rays.

Marsha Salerno 2007

The Moon on the Prairie

It is hot
but I open the window
and turn off the air.
The crickets and frogs
are ever-present
as I tune out the city traffic.
and hear the leaves
whisper on the trees as
they whoosh and sigh.
A far off train vibrates
the air with its lonely,
off tune whistle.
The evening breeze is alive and cool;
refreshing to my
air conditioned soul.
I close my eyes and I know
the moon shines
on the prairie.

Marsha Salerno 2007

Long Life

I lament the fact
that my work worn body
has betrayed me
at the last of my life
which has been so
full, so beautiful
with its frights
and pleasures and
every day’s forgotten moments.
I hope they see beyond this
worn out shell and into
the depths—
deep into my past—
our past—
when all was sharp and clear
without weakness.
Will I stay in this state so
long that they cannot
remember me
in my strength?
Will they remember dependence—
my reliance instead of my power?
Such a fleeting time
I stay in this state.
does it remake my life
only because it occurs at the end?

Marsha Salerno

Weather for Conversation

Boughs budded, leafed, dropped, and bared
It is a language not of style,
love, art, famine, or horror.
It is the rhythm of life
roundly cycling.
Timeless, aiding, ailing, caring not
of human happening.
God’s rage, wrath, mercy, and blessing.

Marsha Salerno

River Bank

The cutout leaves
silhouetted against the
purpled golden sky of dusk
the peace
of walking hand in hand
with you
as we watch
the rise of
the new moon.
My heart
on its horns.

Marsha Salerno 2008

Broken Heart

You should mend it.
It is yours, after all.
I am happy now.
I chose right.
What we had was
I treasure that
long ago time.
But you know things
were not right.
Not really.
Otherwise we would be together.
The hurt is deep.
I see that.
I was hurt too.
Some of the hurt remains
in a corner--
locked away in a box
shut with a golden key.

Marsha Salerno 2008

Your Words Have Brought Me Peace

It does not seem that words could
bring the damage
they often

Sticks and Stones May Break my Bones,
But Words Will Never Hurt Me
is just not true.
It would be nice if it were.

Holding onto words
until we are sure of them
unfortunately is not a talent
possessed by all.

But you. Your words.
Your deliberation.
Your kindness
is inordinately important to me.

You are a stranger.
Yet my troubled mind
rubs your words
on my wound like a

They have saved me.
You have saved me.
Your words have brought me
and provided the comfort
I need to go on
in this moment.

Marsha Salerno
August 2007

Cottonwood Leaf

Each particle of light
Dances from leaf to leaf
on the cottonwood tree
The line of trees stands
against the stormy blue
of the prairie sky.
They edge the Ninnescah
casting a shimmering, majestic light.
Leaves turn and flash,
in the after storm breeze.

Marsha Salerno Summer 2008


You are a compass
who inspires others
to find their way
their heart
their life.
You reach out to those
who need direction.
You listen to those
who need heard.
You are compassion
and merci.

Marsha Salerno
Summer 2008

Women Work in the Cabbage Field

Faces veiled, arms in flowing sleeves,
shade the sun.
Flashes of metal glint as each
head is cut and bagged by the efficient team.
The rustle of the tight leaves sound plastic
in the midst of the serene field.
Deep brown contrasts the cabbage,
the strong scent of the plant freshens
the breeze over the neat, compact rows.
They reach row's end
and turn to start
on the next.

September 2008 Marsh Salerno

Haitian Image

The line of girls sits waiting
Cocoa eyes emitting a level,
parallel gaze.
Slim arms grasp elegant knees
Each shoulder aligns with the next
as similarity of face
frames the beauty of difference.
The age of anticipation, waiting
for something.

Marsha Salerno September 2008

The Tree in my Window

A sycamore holds its leaf
shaped hands
out to me
to embrace me,
to sooth me.

I watch its branches sway
out my window.

I dream.
Of nothing but green
against brown and blue
I gaze on
Hope and Eternity.

Marsha Salerno Summer 2007

Love Poem for Gino

The sun rises
my mind moves
to you.

My thoughts expand
in the warmth and light.
Thrill leaps to my

I turn my face to the sunshine,
stretch and rise.

Amazed that you,
my love,
are part of my

-MarshaFeb. 14, 2009

Father’s Love

Sacred and important
--an honored blessing.
It is a joyful, ultimate love
which brings strength, wisdom, and sanity.
A teacher and shepherd
whose duty and diligence humble.
Given without question,
accepted the same.
Beautiful father’s love.

Marsha Salerno
June 2008

Searching for Contentment

Sometimes a cloud
hangs over me.
Over my happiness.
My sanity.

I look at it too long
and make something of it.
Or I swat at it as if
it were a fly
but my fingers pass
right through
the vapor
of that cloud and I
miss the pest of

The sting of a bite
and a few half-hearted tries
awaken me to realize
I must focus my intention.

I fold my fingers into
a hollow cup,
aim for the center,
and this pass is
My positive efforts,
my intentions,
dissipate the cloud.

The fog lifts,
I see
the brightness of

Marsha Salerno
March 2009

Is it the Gift?

Or is it the act of kindness
that lifts my spirits so?
You brought to me a cup of tea,
which is an act of kindness.
And thought
That I might like
cream and sugar
so you brought that
along as well.
But is it the tea?
Or is it
that you
thought of me?

Marsha Salerno
March 2009

Live for Us

What if we lived in consecutive generations
and swung through time hand to hand
our souls renewing on the wheel of fate
without direction?
What if our ancestors
from long ago were us—not just
ancestors, but ourselves?
What if our descendents in the future will be us?

Would it change us, knowing that?
Would it end our callousness and
waste if it were for ourselves—
for us as individuals—for whom
we preserve the future?

We found fire for ourselves,
we made the printed word.
Could we cure cancer and AIDS and
take care of the world?
Would we understand each other,
race, religion, disability,
because we lived that life too?
Would we?

April 2009
Marsha Salerno

Stalking the Poem

The Poet must be a detective
who warily tracks an idea
and charms words to confess
an emotional articulation of image.

Clues pieced together form
line and stanza
which are closely examined
as if under a magnifying glass
then rearranged for effect
and revelation.

The sleuth must ascertain
guilt or innocence
of black on white.
The guilty are punished with exile
and the innocent set free.

Marsha Salerno

The Beach Beckons Me

Siren song of the sea.
Moonlit nights,
dark stormy times,
days without end
are the ones I miss.
in the sun and sand
Laughing with friends
taking advantage
of the beauty and
energy all around us.
The never ending
undulating tide
sweeps me back
each time
I remember.

Marsha Salerno 2006

Save Thyself

Find your salvation
Heal on your own
Seek your peace
Find your bliss
You are in command
Purify your soul
Breathe in through the
nose and out
through the mouth
Feed your heart
your lungs
your mind
with the good air of the earth.
Control your breath
your thoughts
your life
your joy
Envelope your salvation

Marsha Salerno
April 2009


There is a path
between the trees
in the forest
lying next to a hill
at path’s end.
The rise of the sun
glimmers through the
branches which
meet briefly in the breeze
leaf tip to leaf tip,
forming a tunnel of
green fir.
The first squinting light
so bright
the edges of the trees
into the silhouette
of Him.
And he waits,
calling my name.

Marsha Salerno
April 2009


White-out conditions
White in sky, on land
A satin texture
Cold into the bone
Asleep in a cold coffin
Am I awake?
Sparks fly past my eyelids
Feel the pulse and flow
The White has faded
There is no exit
Apology is the recourse
I will not know
All things shall pass

Marsha Salerno
April 2009

A Very Strong Emotion

Which I try to keep secret.
Is it dangerous?
Is it over-reactive?
It is unexpected, unwanted and feared.
Its arrival makes me unsure.
So I unsuccessfully try to still the emotion
and wonder if that is wise.
I waiver and fear
as it begins to look
like anger and expresses itself unbidden
on my lips and in my gestures.
I realize I must speak of my painful jealousy.
I receive the
necessary, sincere reassurance
through the un-judging wisdom and loyalty
of my Love
who recognizes my need
and mends my confidence
with his healing presence.

Marsha Salerno
September 2008

Brain Specimen

Lacy folds wrinkle one
upon the other
Each wrinkled fold is called a gyrus
and each of us has
our own individual
pattern of these folds.
Sliced thin,
the light box makes this dense tissue
seem translucent and dry.
Alive it was fueled by
one-fourth of the body's
oxygen-soaked blood
and full of ideas,
never at rest, always
keeping the body nourished and working.
Always thinking and dreaming.
The cerebral ventricle is the
open part - what did it
hold in life?
This sliced piece looks
like a face.
Is this brain's
spirit as beautiful
as the brain?

Marsha Salerno May 2008


A delicate balance
must be achieved
for the one who
asks cannot do so
until he knows
the answer is yes.

She must
exactly the right balance
of not being eager
and letting him know
the answer is yes.

This miscommunication
will be gone only to begin
a life together
full of negotiations,
sorrow, joy,
and delight.

Marsha Salerno

Plaza Restaurant

A man yells incoherently
outside my restaurant
where the busy sidewalks
are filled with tourists
and others in the
city for a Sunday afternoon.
The man is shouting
religious mantras. He seems unstable,
unsafe. Children are frightened.
A couple tries
to place his accent.
crane their necks to see.
Action is needed, so
I jump the barricade
onto the sidewalk
and follow the man's voice
into the crowd.
I look back to where I stood
and a mother's eyes
are upon me.
She says
be careful.

Marsha Salerno


River glides silently.
Cicadas call
They are companions
with no awareness
of one another,
bound together
by nature.

Marsha Salerno

I Can Not Sleep

The worries are running my mind.
Why are there so many,
ruining my rest,
causing me pain?
They leap monstrous
from my mind
and grow
as I try to shut
them out
by one
by one
Slam the door.
Turn out the light.
They slide back
from dungeon darkness
of my imagination
and wake me
as I doze.

Marsha Salerno

Path Defined

What moves a
man to do
the impossible
the un-seemly
the unwise?
must he accomplish that
which has not been done before
by him
--and perhaps no one?
What moves him to encounter danger
and thrill?
Low in the valley
he must embrace the dangerous sheer
think about every step
fraught with slippery struggle
to surmount the peak
and gain from the mountain
he respects
and fears.

Marsha Salerno 2008

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Time Wears a Disguise

A caterpillar warily creeping
seems slow to me.
I follow it with my eyes,
Tire of its steady journey.

I no longer watch and wait—
It has become a russet Monarch
which glides past me
with a jerky and uneven pace.
I try to anticipate its unknown path
but don’t know where it has gone.

Marsha Salerno


I am a mother
and a woman
so I understand
when you say it isn’t
about me.
I know.
Nothing is
about me.
I am invisible.

Marsha Salerno


The rain carried a sorrowful dream
brought back by the underground smell.
It showed my past where love had given
only ruptured promise.
Awakening in present was strange
with forgotten reality so near.
Bedroom blackness engulfed;
yielded fear of painful past as now.
Familiarity erased amnesia
I was home again,
the blackness merely darkness—
shattered dream, a nightmare.

Marsha Salerno

Puddle Prints

My feet are wet
from walking through
a tiny rain pond.

I leave marks behind—
splashy print on light cement.
They become less watery
and more like soles.

I turn and watch the impressions
of my feet, splashy and perfect,
fade to dryness.

Marsha Salerno

Plain Black Bird

Yesterday I saw a starling
promenade through blades of green
as a Gentleman on a Sunday stroll.
His rainbow black feathers
shimmered purple then green,
but his greedy dark eyes
and ludicrous smile
gave him away as he skipped
to his smashed beggar’s dinner.

Marsha Salerno


My sleep is uneasy
I dream of terror.
Anonymous danger stalks me.
My eyes cannot penetrate
the sinister shadow.

I cannot get away—
Motion is sucked from my legs
as if I am wading in grain.

Ground level clouds
seeping to surround me
are turned dark by my fear.
My mind leaps to save me,
volunteers a scream,
but my jaws are bound with terror.

Marsha Salerno


We knew you were coming
we were happy—and frightened.
One month later
here you are in my palm
I know it’s you, and you are dead.
I cry with pain,
Your father holds me.
Then, to be sure, we check
the biology text book.
The fetus likeness,
and you—
the same.

Marsha Salerno

Death in May

I wander through pools
Of leafy sunlight
Past columns and rows of anonymous tombstones
Planted by sadness and
Growing from the ground
Like the trees which shade them.

I search for the one I know,
Unblackened by time
With letters as deep
As the chisel had carved.

I carry white yarrow and thorny blue thistle
Which I picked from the roadside
Of his death at sixteen.

His grave still seems new to me,
Yet it is covered with grass.
I stare at the white stone,
Remembering haunting unfairness,
And wonder at his abandoned future
Now bound in dust.

In Memory of Bert

Marsha Salerno

Distorted Vision

Bubble wand full of soap
Waxed paper
Hundred year old glass panes
Swarm of gnats
Residue in yesterday’s glass of lemonade
Sun through a dirty windshield
Window on an icy morning
Red cellophane from a box of chocolates
Negatives for pictures too light
Milk spilled on a glass tabletop
Blackened welder’s mask
Dirty spectacles
Bee’s wing

Marsha Salerno


Bowl of Blue
Skirting of dark trees
Ribbon of water
Carpet alternating

Simple beauty
of fragrant grass and sage
drift on the wind as it sails
from one end
of the plain
to the other

Marsha Salerno

Tragic Flaw

Tragic Flaw
An Overactive Imagination

Imagining the worst is horrible.
So knowing all of the
every bit--
is tempting.
The truth must be
than my tragic
At least it is real.

Marsha Salerno
Not all of it...look for more to come, if you are interested. If not, OKAY!


Life is so intensely
that it is
frightening to share
for fear of rejection
or misunderstanding.
Unsaid thoughts, misgivings
and insecurities
are not always
Sometimes they are best
into the fog.

Marsha Salerno

In the Night

I wake to your reassuring touch.
Behold your beloved face.
Your presence is powerful.
My soul sought yours
and you appeared.

(for Gino)
Marsha Salerno


Laurel leaves grace thy handsome brow
Where the light of strength, wisdom and kindness
shines past centuries
to equal Solomon, Socrates and da Vinci
as timeless contemporaries.
Libra's balance sustains
and tempers
passion, power, and creative obsession
as an admirable directional force.

Thy fair countenance,
made fairer by
thy genuine heart,
draws me to thee
in love's mystical nature.

A sonnet's complication
would tribute thee,
but these simple phrases
are wrought with love and

For Gino from Marsha
February 14, 2008

It Is Late

I am not yet sleeping
because I choose not to do so.
Instead, I think of
life and its precarious preciousness.
The ebb of crickets and insects
too numerous to
lull me to
sleep as I
think of you.

Marsha Salerno

Robin in Blue

Comfort of the silkiest aquamarine sari.
Mystery of the living turquoise.
Cobalt of the sleek vase wrought by her hand.
Surprise of the life-giving egg-shell found in the grass.
Sparkling light of the precise topaz.
Succor of the secret sapphire.
Blue of the Sky where Robin soars.

Marsha Salerno

Life is Hard.

As depressive as it is manic.
Everywhere we turn.
Love - Lost
Parent -- Dead
Trust -- Shaken
Friendship -- Elusive
And there is worse.
Much worse.
and death
lie in the future.

Marsha Salerno

Once I Didn't Understand

why or how
someone could commit
Now I understand.
They just want out.
Out of the pain.
Out of the responsibility.
Out of the guilt.
Out of the distrust.
Out of the misery.

Marsha Salerno


If your wife ever calls you
and asks
if you love her

Say yes (without pause)
I love you.

When you see her, hold her
for at least one minute.

Kiss her romantically.
Say I love you.
That is the very

Marsha Salerno


My brother in law once told me
that you must be happy...

Life always brings problems and pain.
Love, children, family, health
Money concerns and business,
job and career.
Woes are omnipresent in life.

His words angered me.
My own father was dying
and my sadness and grief
embraced me.
I grimly smiled at
his advice and said
I guess you are right.

I did not know he was so wise.
Es la Vida.

Marsha Salerno


washing, cooking, cleaning
doing, helping, listening, loving
missing the fun
always up and going.
Why didn't she mind?
I never knew
Until I stood in His kitchen
cooking and cleaning
for the one I loved.
Then I knew why
she didn't mind.
I understood.

Marsha Salerno

The Carpet

Circling upon itself
A musty braided
of dust and
Brown, black, white
winding around,
spiraling in
on the parlor floor.

Marsha Salerno

Piano Lesson

Let me hear your lesson.
Did you practice?
Good boy.
Do your five finger exercises.
Do do do duh da da da dah
Good. Remember to connect your tones.
There you did it.
That is nice.
You'll want to play that one for fun.
Remember to hold the half notes.
One more time.
Remember to connect your tones.
And this was a new sign:
Repeat with two dots.
Left hand. Now right. Not bad.
Quarter quarter half note.
Quarter quarter half note.
Let's see if you got it.
There you go.
You can practice that again for next week.

Marsha Salerno

Overheard Telephone Conversation

No I'M NOT coming home
You treat me like nothing
I don't want to be around you
You don't know what you are doing to me
I'm not coming home till very late.
I'm on my way to the car now.
No! I won't come home.
On my way to the car.
At the park.
I am leaving now.

Marsha Salerno

Lost Opportunity

I stand here washing the dishes and I sigh
For all the times
my mother washed
and I did not want to help her,
but I had to.
I sigh for
those moments I wished to be elsewhere.
I sigh for
those moments I could have spent with her
in bliss.
But, at least we were together.
I did not understand
the enormity of those
as she
instructed me
in the ways of the world,
and the code to live by
floating in the air
like bubbles of soap.

Marsha Salerno