Pat Brodie


Three purple crocuses
against a stone wall
tipsy heads
sway in weak sunlight
after rain.



Molly describes herself
as "a pack horse
or maybe mule."

At 72, she takes care of
three grandchildren,
deals with the house, the cooking,
her husband who she calls a lion with
a memory problem.

We walk three miles this morning.
Maples and birches splash us
with yellow leaves,
red euonymus bushes whisper
"you're hot"
and the breeze,
cloudless sky,
hum the tune of Indian summer.

"But on these walks," says Molly,
"I'm a thoroughbred."

"Anima"was first published by the "July Literary Press Anthology" in 2006 and, later, in "The Wilderness House Review"


Listening to Jane Hirshfield

The reading is at seven
and it's raining outside
windy, cold.

I skip dinner, run to the car
drive too fast down glistening streets.

Lucky this time
a parking spot close to the door.

I hang up my raincoat,
sit on a hard plastic chair—

and we are in a Zen garden
with a cat
a horse
the immense beauty of a beating heart—

branches tap against the window.


"Listening to Jane Hirshfield" was first published in "Bagels With the Bards No. 3."


Christmas Ghazal

Today’s snow falling will invite the Christmas letter.
So, though November, I will write the Christmas letter.

Pelicans Squawk, sandhill cranes amble across green lawns in Florida;
abandoned nests in leafless trees here benight the Christmas letter.

Turning 2,3,4,6,100 and other years between,
birthday candles, wishes ignite the Christmas letter.

Should I list our surgeries and medical scares this year
or did they happen just to spite the Christmas letter?

Trips to California, D.C., Brazil, Vermont
help to excite the Christmas letter.

We don’t talk about arthritis, other chronic foils.
Knowing we grow older would just blight the Christmas letter.
Our health, our children, grandchildren, patient friends
are all we need to delight the Christmas letter.


Patricia Brodie is a clinical social worker.  Her poems have appeared in The Comstock Review,
The Lyric, California Quarterly, Raintown Review, The Pedestal, Phoebe and other journals.
Her chapbook The American Wives Club (Ibbetson Street Press) was published in 2006.