WAKERachel M. Croce Bernard is not the name of a man, but a place where winter eyes cast shore to shore and land kissed upon seagrass-laden rocky salt-marshand feast upon simplicity  where loneliness mates with dreary coastline I wed myself to mean unsailed sailor bent upon cracked compassarrows dance between glass and brass  loose bootstraps lift weighty limbsin searchto hideContinue reading “WAKE”

Drip on Me

These branches breathe a heavy sigh“Dripping,” as he put itThey drip the curlingCrack the coughing at each sorrowful Stone-cold inGoodnight skyUnknowing friend keep meCompany keep me Here is where home is builtA fire glowing Growing Going Flames dance to be unseen Just before you stack With sturdy dirty fingersStack the dryness of dead branch treeDryContinue reading “Drip on Me”

Maple Man

northernnorthno worth when compared to this blood orange peeling sky two calves wrapped twice of deer hideand oncecovering the kneessturdy as Corundum hands like aged leathera voice framed in confident humility his grandfather’s birch-barked bucket sighs over the left shoulder with two spiletucked tightly in the pocket of his jean “Tap Tap Tap,” says the young manand from theContinue reading “Maple Man”


Through golden hourglass I watch a determinedflickering fumbling bumble bee then attempt a self-soothing mumble“be here now”and note the tension swelling  I till nails into summer’s bookend evethe same fingers that dig into marriageand baby’s thighsand natural family planning until fragile limbs fling ‘round my neckand the smallest little bird starts pulling I think howContinue reading “Knocking”

Making Love to a Pinecone

A few years ago I stumbled upon the Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku, an ecotherapy otherwise known as “forest bathing.” While reading about this technique, I became flooded with images of monks bathing in a pool of fresh spring water, showering in the rain, and splashing their faces with dew cupped in hands pulling away fromContinue reading “Making Love to a Pinecone”

Tour de New England

I can be socially timid, especially in large groups. By timid, I mean that I hate being vulnerable. When interacting with strangers, my confidence goes weak in the knees. More than anything, I find it difficult to trust. My default has always been toward siblings and friends who are more dominant in conversations. It seemsContinue reading “Tour de New England”


A Really Hard Thing From the base of that mountain I called to you. Questions fade as words dissolve into a fog of dried lavender sky. I have two pearl earrings tucked delicately in a flowering leather coin pouch, like the one your grandfather carried. His voice still distinctly held close to memory.  I can’tContinue reading “Grief”