terminus ad quem II

she raised her hands
as if to catch the words
flung at her
from across the room

the echoes of the syllables
bounced from wall to wall
settling at last
in her heart

then the silence
within the language
spoke to her spirit
breaking it quietly apart

his outraged look
landed squarely on
her face
convicting her

the air was electric
with all that had not yet
could never happen

as the door slammed
her face was washed
with a baptism of tears
regrets forever unspoken

copyright© 2010
by Terri DeVries 


 last words 

a nefarious disease
kidnapped the body
of the innocent child
as she played
and grew

now the margins of
her life
were filled with symbols
wires, tubes

the prognosis was written
on the doctor’s face
stark and cruel words
into garble

they watched and waited
each moment
wrapped and contained
within their hearts
as the days stole her away

leaving nothing for them
to hold
except the love
this miracle left behind
in her last words

copyright© 2010
by Terri DeVries



the family gathers
a once a year occasion
everyone tentative
reacquainting themselves
with siblings

children run about
distracting the adults
covering their unease
until dinner is served

conversation is surface
how wonderful the food tastes
what a lovely centerpiece Mom made
how about those Tigers
deciding if dessert should wait

at the football game kickoff
the men escape
taking refuge
in the family room
freeing the women to clean up

children go down for naps
crabby and crying
not ready to let go of the fun
rubbing eyes and clutching
stuffed animals

the cadence of women’s voices
as they clear the table
stuff the dishwasher
reveal issues close to their hearts

how are you coping with the job
it’s hard to balance work and children
are you planning to be engaged soon
tell us about your family
we’re glad you are here

copyright© 2009
by Terri DeVries 



memory lapse 

it dances across my brain
tickling, teasing
almost there…and then it’s gone

I knew it, I knew it
why does it dart in and out
leaving me frustrated

I’ll find it
hiding in a dusty corner
when it becomes useless information

no wonder I can’t find a thing
too much inane clutter
taking up brainspace

copyright© 2009
by Terri DeVries


managers of pond scum

agendas tucked conveniently
in their pockets
they walk along
vultures waiting to swoop
on unsuspecting targets
managers of pond scum

busy at managing
pond scum
they strew fabrications
like seeds
in a field

copyright© 2009
by Terri DeVries


writer’s block 

the poet works words
into the landscape
painting thoughts onto the pages
creating alphabet images

sitting at the keyboard
ideas circle around
the spaces on the page
evading the writer

mocking creativity
thoughts become muddled
and watered down
like diluted paints

poems begun with enthusiasm
lay dormant
evidence of frustration
in the creative process

blocking the muse
little devils steal words
hijack ideas
paint over the poem

remix the colors
reclaim the muse
allow words to flow through
poetic fingers onto the screen

it’s all in your head

copyright© 2009
by Terri DeVries


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