Thursday, June 24, 2021





After my husband’s

saphenous vein graft, and

he returned home,

I asked his doctor,

Should we sleep

in separate beds?

I might have bacteria

that could infect his wound?

No, the doctor said.

His germs and mine

were intimately acquainted,

grew up together,

raised families

in the same neighborhood.

I rested easier.

We were with friends.


©2021 Muriel Thumm

Saturday, June 12, 2021

A Flower Poem



A hibiscus dreaming near a pond

in Winter Haven, Florida

Nearby a jasmine blossom

steams my nostrils

a reminder of my bottled,

stoppered love

so long past

I need the reminder

that it once was,

extant beauty for a time

which is all

any fragrance is

Lusty as the red rose

the deep-throated hummingbird

Savors and flies off

Its bounty, she and I

cannot hold for long


©2021 Muriel Thumm

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Dear Old Friend



I keep you nameless

not because I don’t know your name

but because it got to be

a game we played

after a neighbor

from the Newcomer’s Club

dropped in as you and I were there

in my toy-strewn living room

wine glasses on the slate-topped table.


Daytime when other husbands were at work,

I introduced you as an old friend

to her dismay, wanting more.

From then on, it stuck

whenever we talked, and laughed.

But, after a few months

we took that right turn

and lost track of each other.


You may remember the baby

on my knee, same age as yours

in those earlier years

when you and your wife came to see us

in San Francisco, both families expatriates

from the Northeast. Albany followed for us,

Boston for you.


But that day, it was as if San Francisco

never happened,

Albany blew away in our clouds,

And the baby wasn’t drooling on my knees.



Wednesday, February 3, 2021


Sharp Edges


She was a girl

who knew what she wanted

Had a knack for getting it, too

She was a girl you’d take fishing

because she had fingernails

so long and curved

they could be used to gut trout

You’d never pick up a blade again

Not with her around


©2021 Muriel Thumm



Wednesday, September 23, 2020

An Empty Vase



An empty vase

can be cobalt blue

barely reflecting light

coming in the window,

dim like the last row of trees

on a western hill.


Or it can be ruby

which would only be spoiled

by the line

at the water’s surface,

reminder of fractures in old cement.


Just don’t give me a cracked vase.

It won’t stand up to normal use

with its split lip dribbling away its contents.


Instead, I’ll take one of those pitchers

in mustard yellow that leans back

waiting to be filled,

and just as willingly fills

the glasses within reach.


Emptied, it settles back

ready to serve again.


©2020 Muriel Thumm


Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel

I think I’ll write a love poem
to Coco Chanel
She’s with me in this pandemic
I can taste her on my lips
She goes on smooth
not rough like the whisker kiss
of that dance partner
She’s fresh and invigorating
Breathing her in, she
asks me to lighten up,
try a new look forward
Whereas, he stepped on my toes
often on my heart,
Coco never disappoints
She’s there through thin lips
and thick, mine, his

©2020 Muriel Thumm

Tuesday, June 16, 2020


Narcissism comes
at the wrong time in life,
comes when your young body
is easy to love,
your stomach muscles virtuous,
when water beads up
not down into crannies,
when the “turn of your ankle”
doesn’t mean a limp.
But it would be better stored
for the day your aging body
desperately needs someone
to stroke its folds, roll fingers
around its plenitudes,
to look in the mirror
and say,
               “You’re lookin’ good, baby.”

©2020 Muriel Thumm

Sunday, June 14, 2020

I heard love was running out

So, I thought,
I’ll be out of love?
or nearly?
I have none in the bank?
None to be had at the store?
Love has run out.
I always thought it was plentiful,
that I could dip my hand in the creek,
come up with enough for a mouthful.
That it poured off mountains,
city streets were awash in it.
Every subway train, cross-town bus
contained it like the pool man’s
tanker truck full of love
coming to fill my pool.
I will stand here, chin up,
mouth open and wait
for replenishing.

©2020 Muriel Thumm

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Oriental Poppies

All of my red-headed girls
Dropped their tresses last night
On the lawn and stand bald-headed
Looking back at me.  I smile
Knowing them in their dishabille
To be lovely at heart.

©2013 Muriel Thumm

Monday, May 25, 2020

Time Traveler

He came from a different time, earlier than ours. He came from last year. 

Friday, May 15, 2020

Unwriting My Story

Let me spin my story anew
We didn’t live in Guernsey Hollow, so why would I care
if I might have had to snap potato bugs in a small garden
that we could have had across the road


  Families   After my husband’s saphenous vein graft, and he returned home, I asked his doctor, Should we sleep in separate be...