Tanka Writing Roundtable • Fall 2011
Dr. Randy Brooks

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Nora Kocher

Late at Night, As We Philosophize
Selected Tanka

Nora Kocher


pulling jackets
from the back of the closet
I carefully rehang yours
three years and I'm still unable
to get rid of it

freshman homecoming dance
picking my daughter up early
she tells me all about
how prince charming
turned out to be a frog

seeing my high school years later
I look at the softball diamond
and still wish the coach
had let me play through the injury
just one inning the final game


visiting the old neighborhood
with the kids in the car
I don't know why
but I lie to them
about which house was mine

Christmas Eve snowstorm
she still drives on
having decided it was finally time
for her two year old
to meet his grandparents


warming my toes
in the bathtub
after a long walk home
the smell of Christmas cookies
fills the house

early Christmas morning
their sick child's third night
in the ICU
no coffee shops
are open yet


late at night
as we philosophize
my drunk and more worldly cousin
fiercely implores us
not to try crack

circle dance
around the newlyweds
the groom hopes
that the third time
is really the charm


aunts cousins and sisters
gathered in the kitchen
the laughter ceases
when someone accidentally mentions
her late husband

© 2011, Randy Brooks • Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.