Stranger Things

Meet we ever after, Strangers,
Tokens of a time and place;
Souvenirs in silver packages,
At last I see your face.

By now I've drifted onward,
Floated past your pin-up girls;
Saw your face in crowds so many times,
And sailed around your world.

Aging dreams stacked on my shelf,
I relished all the dangers;
And planned the day might it ever come,
That we meet ever after, Strangers.

Copyright Kristin McKenna Clouse 2005

Running From the Winter

What can I do
With this frenzy, this fire
That goes to my head
I don't breath - I expire.

You're dashing like a train
Rolling along
We're one and going backwards
We're playing - a song.

We're dancing in my mind
I keep seeing your sleepy eyes
Touching your past, your imagination...

I'm watching you walk alone
You're wet with rain
Running from the winter
I keep whispering your name.

And I know I'm wrong, I'm wrong
But I just want this forever
We're up on the roof
In the night, with the lights - together.

We're dancing in my mind
I keep seeing your sleepy eyes
Touching your past, your imagination...

And I know I'm wrong, I'm wrong
But I just want us to be together
Forever - forever.

Copyright 1995 by Kristin McKenna Clouse


The name Rolfe means something to me.
Something binding, something sore,
But bittersweet,
Winding like a flame
Following a gas track down
The frame of me.
You see, Rolfe's still in control,
Though I turn my face to heaven
And plead
It not be so.
Dear God, I pray, if only I
Could be his friend...
But it's not to be.
He turns
(That Arian devil)
With ice blue eyes
(and heart)
And hails some unseen ghost,
Something I can never be.
And I melt alone
In an empty sanctuary of shame,
Into a puddle of 
Lasting only for
His sake.

Copyright 2008 Kristin McKenna Clouse

Why I Remember (or Memories of a Catholic Schoolgirl)

I remember...

Because a lofty, cold sanctuary folded
her arms about me.
Because I thought heaven was just through
the choir room door.
Because the stillness enveloped me.
Because the Italian widow knelt at
each Station and prayed.
Because the confessionals forgave me.
Because there was Drama
as we proceeded to Communion.
Because the gold and blue plaid
grazed my knees.
Because I pondered on holy water and praying
the Dead out of Purgatory.
Because when I there God really listened to me.
Because there was a Saint for each day of the year.
Because the funeral incense haunted me.
Because we toured the house where the Sisters lived.
Because Sister Bernice was good to me.
Because she said almost everyone went to Heaven.
Because the Body and the Blood became real
with the sound of bells.
Because the nuns said that
Latin was not a Dead Language and warned us that
not enough Young Catholics were becoming
priests and nuns
And the liquor flowed freely from the
Beer Garden at Oktoberfest
And everyone played Bingo on Friday nights and
The Germans wore read on St. Patty's Day.
Because Dad married a Protestant
and never took Communion again.
Because now as I sit in a pew I mourn all these things...

I've forgotten.

To Grandma’s House

Today I commemorate our meeting;
I rewind back to April 24th.
I was scanning the horizon
Of my colorless world.

All my girlhood dreams - collective - explode and dart!
Concerto of Southern charm, Freud's theory proved;
My innocent compliance, my romantic, daydreaming heart,
My nuptial state - an afterthought - so long unmoved.

And you, you landscaped my secret fantasies,
Mowed down the mundane, the weeds that strangled me.
I, Rapunzel, let down my hair.
You climbed up on 36 years of cumulate complacency.

You were the Wolf and I:
Red Riding Hood;
But I took your hand, touched your skin;
Would I so rashly betray my vow?

I would.

I did.

I can never go back
To being twenty-five,
To first love, to what God hath joined.

I put it asunder.

I lied.

Oh, but if I could rewind my life!
Stand strong, hold firm and tight,
And see that Devils sometimes masquerade 
As Angels of Light.

Then I'd still be young and satisfied
With a commonplace account.
And this time I'd run all the way
To Grandma's house.

copyright 2000 by Kristin McKenna Clouse