Sonnet #19: Week of August 6, 2017


Airline travel used to be a thrill;
A luxury. You dressed up for the ride.
Your flight attendant worked with cheerful skill—
Behaving like a docent or a guide
To this sky-journey. Magical! Profound!
That we may soar while sitting in a chair,
And dine and drink as if on solid ground.
Now people board as if it’s not that rare
To move so many miles above the land.
We shut the window screens to wonder now.
It’s commonplace and ordinary, bland;
Reduced to bus-trip status, lacking “wow.”
But I grip tight my husband’s hand and sigh,
Astonished every single time I fly.

Sonnet #18: Week of July 16, 2017

The other night, while watching “Mountain Men,”
I switched the channel to another show;
A program that, for sure, could not have been
More antithetical—“Shark Tank.” I know
That each of these provides a portal to
A lifestyle that is foreign to my own.
I do not hunt for elk at dawn nor do
I have spare millions to invest. I’ve grown
Accustomed to a life of measured risk:
Will I find parking in a decent spot?
I hear a vague, persistent sound, “Tsk, tsk,”
Inside my head. I think my time is not
Well spent in watching others fail or win:
Adventure’s waiting in the life I’m in.

Sonnet #17: Week of July 9, 2017

My Father, Thomas F. Fricke

My Father was a complicated man.
His praise was rare, but when received, a light
More brilliant than the full moon out last night
When I returned from Florida. I can
Not say that he would never yell or shout;
He was not like the “TV Dads” admired
For their patience. He was witty, wired;
Sharp on any subject asked about.
He read three papers every night and I
Would lie awake when I was five or six
To hear him turn the pages. That would fix
My anxiousness. The memory makes me cry,
As does the sight of perfect gardens. Glad
To be reminded of you daily, Dad.


My Father passed away on July 3, 2017.  I was more privileged than saddened to be with him that day.  Here is a link to his obituary:

And here is a photo of my siblings and me with our Mother. I like to believe he heard the laughter and conversation around the table as family arrived to honor his memory.


Sonnet #16: Week of June 26, 2017

“Promenade;” a show in Baltimore
Will take you through the city on a bus.
You’ll view a lot of action to a score
Of local music, interviews, and thus
You are both passenger, participant.
You can’t escape the truth that it imparts.
You are intended to connect: it’s meant
To be a vehicle that stops and starts
The course of city life. You wonder how
The poverty and wealth can coexist–
And was that just an actor? Or just now
Was that unscripted action in our midst?
Single Carrot Theatre’s breakthrough show
Drives home the complexities we know.


Unfortunately for you, esteemed reader, the show, though extended, is sold out! Fortunately that means my sonnet cannot be viewed as a thinly veiled marketing ploy.

In any case, you really ought to check out this small, influential group of artists:  

Sonnet #15: Week of June 11, 2017

Giant Food
My local Giant Food store on 41st Street in Baltimore.

With four hands on the shopping cart they walked
In synchrony, no bumping, side by side
In fluid motion, just as one. I gawked
Because they seemed so peaceful in their stride.
I followed them; I stalked them with my cart
To seek the essence of their dance, their zen;
How neither hurried-up the other’s start
Or stop. I had to wonder if, or ever, when
I’d have the patience of these lovely two
Who moved in tandem, soulmates in the store
Not paying much attention to me, who
Lurked and snaked behind them out the door.
Following is not considered rude
When Muses show up at the Giant Food.


So, this actually happened a couple years ago while I was grocery shopping. And I find I can’t stop thinking about this charming senior couple.


Sonnet #14: Week of May 28, 2017


“Inter Sanctos Sors Illorum Est–”
These words carved into stone atop a Church
That I walk past each day became a test
Of memory for me—so I could search
Their meaning. Google gave some Latin clues
But I am not a scholar of that tongue.
And word-by-word translation is a ruse
That’s best for basic travelers. “Among
them is Holy?” With a question mark?
Did not inspire faith. Does it convey
That somewhere in the crowds here and the dark
Is light? I wish that we could find our way
To be the ones so blessed, to walk with grace.
Reflecting holiness in urban space.

Sonnet #13: Week of May 21, 2017

MooseMy dog has trouble when ascending stairs,
Especially on days I’ve walked him far.
He doesn’t mope about it, never cares
That age is catching up to him. Sidebar:
I saw a photograph of me in shorts
And quickly grew dismayed. My crepe-y skin
All mottled, wrinkled, put me out of sorts;
Resentful of the current shape I’m in.
But what’s the use of that? Ridiculous.
My dog is focused only on what’s fun.
There is no point in chasing all that fuss
That promises a youth that’s passed and done.
So walk me, Moose, along the path you know
As perfect now as it was years ago.

(Pictured above are my youthful son and my old dog. Both are happy with their life stages, and there is definitely something to be said for that!)

Sonnet #12: Week of May 14, 2017


I used to call her when I was upset;
Or when I had a funny story. She
Would hear of things accomplished, goals unmet;
And listen, commenting subjectively.
That’s how it is with Moms, the best of which
Can nurture with a gentle, guiding hand.
But on this day that comes in May, we switch,
For I’m the one who listens now. Unplanned
Is the reversal of our standard roles;
She the child and I the mother now
Who coaxes, coaches, and at times consoles,
I wish that I could turn back time somehow.
I promise to remember all the things
That bind me to you with a million strings.

Sonnet #11: Week of April 23, 2017


The smell of Spring’s a green and yellow blend
Of lawn and heavy-headed marigolds;
Of rain-soaked decks; of mulch and soil to tend;
Of all the hope a growing season holds.
We breathe it in, and welcome change, adjust
To newness with an ease that’s nature-based.
The January resolution’s dust
Is sprinkled on the garden. I have faced
So many alterations and I see
That turning over ground and rising strong
From compost (shit) that slowly rots can be
The only way to make one’s way along
A twisting path of days. I love this strange/
Familiar season of new growth and change.