A Pocketful of Poems

Adrienne asked me to share some of my poems in her blog which is just like her, isn’t it, always encouraging others.  I retired seven years ago after forty years of teaching and I took up poetry seriously, or more seriously.  I quip that my role model is Grandma Moses, the folk artist who began her career at age 78.  She portrayed life growing up in Vermont in her primitive art.  I too look at what is directly in front of me in this very tiny part of the world where I live.  

frozen lake

When I first met Adrienne I lived on a dead end street in Norwich, Vermont where we lived for 31 years.  There our children moved comfortably and safely up and down the street with their dogs at their heels.  

On the Street Where I Live

I hear Molly’s call, Asa! Asa! Asa! 

before I see her glide past the living room windows

open wide to welcome the summer breeze.

With her right foot she pushes hard off the ground

then sets her shoulders in a forward lean.  

Eyes fixed ahead she stands steady on her scooter. 

She is eight, her blonde hair flies behind 

and he runs along beside her

or up ahead which is when she cries,  

Asa! Come! NOW!

He is small, a herding dog 

with black and white paws 

made to run. 

Sometimes her calls sound like a bird 

nesting on a branch in the tall pine

claiming its territory,

Asa!  Asa!      Asa!  Asa!  

The dog would never leave her 

but that’s the fear that comes 

from loving hopelessly.

Norwich, VT

2012 “Perhaps It Was The Pie” a collection of poems


We sold our house and built a retirement home on a lake in western Vermont, but while we wait for my husband to retire we live in a NH high rise apartment building, (four stories) which is something we hadn’t done in fifty years.

Apartment 329

I get into bed, adjust the covers and then

listen to the couple in the next apartment

settle in also.  “I had my prunes.

Yours are out there.”  He says this so clearly

I wonder, Is he talking to me?

In my head I search for the prunes 

in our shared floor plan from the small balcony

that overlooks the street to the kitchen, 

a nook at the end of the living room space.  

I find them on the counter in a small dish

five prunes, carefully counted out with a spoon

beside. I wonder, did I find them before his wife?

Should I shout out, “I found your prunes!”

but what if the people across the hall hear

and like me, go looking. When we moved

to this large apartment building I didn’t expect

to meet anyone and here I am helping the neighbor

find her prunes.  We turn off the lights and our eyes

go soft to the sounds of our shared rhythms.

Lebanon, NH

2014 Poem Town Randolph, VT


In a year, when my husband does retire, we plan to move to our small house on Lake Bomoseen where we will live with our many new neighbors.

An Observation

One morning at the lake house 

I took my coffee outside

and slumped comfortably 

into a bright yellow adirondack chair 

perfectly placed for one to watch 

the sun rise over the island’s pines.

I observed a small ball 

sliding in and out of the rippling 

rivulets of water. As it came closer, 

I could see it was the small head 

of the muskrat I knew lived under the dock.

He crawled onto the shore 

and when our eyes met, we stiffened, 

aware of each other’s presence.

I knew he was nothing to fear.

Earlier that week I googled,

Muskrats in Vermont.

I let my shoulders fall.

His nostrils flared, his whiskers twitched,

his way of knowing I supposed,

I was nothing to fear. 

He relaxed and waddled off. 

How quaint, how old-fashioned of him 

to come to knowledge through instinct.

Lake Bomoseen

“Perhaps It Was The Pie” a collection of poems

2013 Poetry Alive! Montpelier, VT


One thing I can say for the lake.  It comes with four seasons of astounding beauty.

The Symphony Remarkable

Outside the window

across the street

two birch trees

rise from one base 

two long graceful limbs

piercing white

against any sky

stem up and stretch away

from the other

like a conductor’s arms

every day directing

the harmonious musicality 

of the field

foraging animals

falling leaves


sun rain



Debby Franzoni


January 2015