My new book, Horse Not Zebra, is now available

from independent bookstores (such as Malaprop's in Asheville, NC), 

or from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or directly from the publisher,

Terrapin Books.



The stunning cover features the painting "Shake the yellow leaves

from the bough of your heart" (a line from Rumi) by

Laura Berendsen Hughescover design by Diane Lockward

of Terrapin Books.

And here is the title poem: 


Horse Not Zebra

 When med students are learning

 how to diagnose symptoms, they’re told

 think horse, not zebra—the common, not the exotic.

 Which is good advice even if you’re not a doctor. 

 Like when your phone rings at 3:00 in the morning,

 think wrong number, not who died?

 Or if your love is over an hour late

 for dinner and hasn’t called to explain, think

 gridlock, not head-on; dead zone, not dead.

 When the guy in the truck doesn’t slow down

 much less stop when you step into the crosswalk,

 think distracted, not son-of-a-bitch. Recall the time

 your mind was still at work, how shocked you were

 to see in your rear-view a woman in the crosswalk

 flipping you off with both hands.

 And if you’re steaming in a mile long back-up

 because protesters have blocked the bridge again,

 don’t think where are the damn cops

 when you need them, think how,

 when popping sounds wake you at night,

 you think firecracker, not gun.


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