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I remember one night when Will was dying, Mom and I giggled out her front door, shushing each other as we moved through the muggy shadows of the grapefruit trees lining the sidewalks between her neighbors’ houses, pulling down only a few; ripe and ready; huge in our hands.

“How many can we take, Ma?” (whispered)

“As many as we like, as long as no one sees us! (whispered back)

“Shhhhh!” (ha ha ha ha ha ha ha – we could not stop laughing).

Will was up, sitting in the kitchen when we slunk back in, grapefruits curled into the bottoms of our t-shirts… heh heh heh heh

“What the hell are you going to do with those?” he asked, his voice still strong, only slightly annoyed.

“Uhh, eat ’em?”

And we howled with laughter…

rJo Herman 7/6/2020 nine years to the day that my mother died – she still gets me laughing…


I went out walking just before the sun burned a hole in the horizon (gonna be a hot day). The wind was cool coming off the hills, no traffic to speak of. I was chuckling and counting the hi-flying baby swallows chirping and whirling in the air just as a BIG hawk lifted off the fence post not five feet from my face! Breathtaking!

The swallows swarmed him as he flew low across the road, and a fat rabbit dove into the brush, saved by my clumsy footfalls, no doubt, or scared off by my loud, “WOW!” at the sight of those talons.

Great Day in the Morning!

May God bless America forever and ever, Amen.

rJo Herman 7/4/2020

ESMEE in 53 words

There is only one way in or out.  You must go up or down the stairs right past Esmee’s grandmother’s and mother’s front door.  If you time it right she will be taking a nap, and you can escape.  However,  if she is awake… if she hears you… she comes for you.  


6/25/2020  rJo Herman

I so late

Nothing to do

Nowhere to be

No one to talk to

No one to see

I stand on the balcony throwing pine cones at the squirrels stretched out on the branches within reach of my zucchini pots.

I have lousy aim.

They just look at me.


Six blooming lindens line the sidewalk near the church just beginning to emit that sweet linden fragrance. Can you smell it?

The fresh morning air is sharp and cool; my long sleeved T feels good. All will be blazing hot later, wilting the leaves on the new zucchini midday

The Beatles surge in my head, “Here comes the sun, deedle dee da…” and up it comes, and I turn home to shut the windows, turn on the fans, wait for the cool of the evening.

6/8/2020 rJo Herman

wild child strikes again

why am I surprised

to see her mom on crutches?

kicked by her wild girl

on the murder of George Floyd

I am white.

I cried to see the murder of this man on the internet.

My stomach still churns, days later.

When a child, I was taught to respect my elders,

to respect my peers and my superiors,

to respect my neighbors, ALL my neighbors,

to celebrate all our differences,

to acknowledge our similarities,

to live

and to let live.

I believed everyone was taught the same basic principals.

I believed everyone should live and let live always…and that everyone believed that.

Now I am old.

I have come to know that all the learning in the world

cannot, will not, does not ensure safety, respect for basic decency.

I understand that all the belief and trust in others can prove to be poorly placed. That the life I have lived and live is different than the life of others, that common sense as I know it exists in my vaccuum.

I have no idea what can be done, because I do not understand how evil is allowed to exist by God Almighty. I cannot grasp how one man can kill another so coldly, blindly…

Still I believe in God and in Good,

and still I pray for peace.

June 1, 2020 rJoHerman, Littleton, CO

Memorial Day 2020

The sun is out and very bright.

Flags are flying everywhere in sight.

Barbecues coals are starting to glow.

We’re all dressed up with nowhere to go.

The freedoms our heroes died for

Are currently quite out the door.

The government controls are in place

to keep “healthy” masks on our face.

We must keep ourselves distant

so we are all virus resistant.

It is getting to be too much

to hear we must live in fear and such.

My tolerance is at zero.

So I plan to honor a hero

today by taking a long walk,

then finding someone with whom I can talk

about how great life can be every day

because of the lives our heroes lost for the U.S.A.

Slight Shock

She walks her yappy little Laso often. I would say,

early in the morning, again at noon, then later in the day.

Regardless of the hour, come rain or shine,

She gets him out to relieve himself which really is quite fine,


She is no spring chicken; is at least as old as me,

Which means her skin is sagging round her eyes and either knee.

Nothing to be done about that, I am perfectly aware,

But you would think at least once a week she would comb her morning hair;

And pull on a robe, perhaps, to bind her pendulous breasts;

and continue wearing her blue face mask as she reports on her positive tests.

“Oh, don’t mind me,” she said when we met out walking a couple days back

“I’m still in my (short) nightgown. I just don’t care…” I gave her little flack,

But I do wish I would have some warning when she is out and about,

so I could be ready to cover my shock when we meet along the same route.

Sentenced Without Proof

Forty years I worked in busy offices

longed for days of peace and quiet and privacy,

dreamt of uninterrupted hours to read and read and read,

to eat when hungry,

to nap whenever.

This prescribed isolation of two or three or more months, though,

is more than respite,

exceeds relaxation,

tests rejuvenation,

brings on the insanity of rocking back and forth while sitting in place.

This is more than quarantine,

more than looking out for my fellow man.

This is solitary confinement

as in prison.


rJoHerman  5/14/2020