Sep 28, 2016


It's wonderful when a random moment in life becomes the catalyst or the front door for a life long impact, change, a gift, a dear friendship. 

For me one of those wonderful random moments happened because of shrimp cocktail. 

I was trying to not be nervous. I was trying to mingle and be comfortable, for me "must attend" social engagements are always difficult. I had scooped out 3 or 4 jumbo shrimp from the buffet table on my plastic ware appetizer plate along with a dollop of cocktail sauce.  Little did I know that plate would be slippery and the shrimp would slide. I'm trying to do the standing, talking and trying to keep it all together routine. Not working. 

I scanned the room, I wanted to find a seat so I could enjoy the shrimp and be safe, away from the mingling at the meet and greet Happy Hour for all the new students in the MFA Writing Program at Queens. This all happened late one warm Sunday afternoon in May of 2005, at Queens University in Charlotte, NC. 

When I found the couch, I sat next to a wonderful and friendly person, Pierr Morgan. I'd never met Pierr and there we were, sharing a seat on an old worn red corduroy sofa.  We introduced ourselves, confirmed that genre we were studying in the program, Pierr creative fiction, me, poetry. She was from the West Coast, I was from Atlanta.  

The meeting and the moments on the red sofa were wonderful, comfortable, familiar. 

I felt safe. I didn't have to pretend to want to talk to someone, Pierr was easy going and something about her spirit intrigued me and made me feel like I had known her all my life. 

Fast forward to 2016 and Pierr are dear friends. 

There are so many things that we have in common, that we both love: art, writing, photography, nature, to name a few. Pierr is one of those people that still writes letters and sends correspondence. She is an amazing, creative, wonderful and successful artist.  I had  the pleasure of visiting her on Whidbey Island, near Seattle a few years ago.  While I was there she was actually working on the illustrations for a children book, Dragon Dancing. 

Pierr is an accomplished illustrator, her next book due out in 2017, a collaboration with Carole Schaefer is The Children's Garden. 

For a complete view of all of Pierr's work you can access her website at the link below. Pierr is a painter, illustrator, writer, crafter, presenter. 

Congrats Pierr ~ Bravo Bravo ! 

And yes, I wrote a poem regarding our initial meeting. 

If I Had Snacked That Night On the Artichoke Dip
This Poem Would Have Never Been Written 

Six steps away, maybe ten, 
a red corduroy couch pulls

I need to balance my plate 
and twenty minutes of civil mingle

One, two, four jumbo shrimp
Freezer cold, mid-thaw, orange, orange, then pink

Slippery on the plastic ware, 
the cocktail sauce a thick red pool, 
The appetizers drown.

Your life is dear to me before the main course.

After I meet you........ I'm full
I excuse myself from dinner, I'm saved.

You rescue me from the repeat sentences 
of the many cocktail commandos.

No more pretend charms or late evening scripts.
The hall at capacity, cranky with carved wood panels worn and splintered

The wood walls holding up a dusty ceiling, 
tall and dark, the echoes of the party drifting
circling the room, the volume delicate. 

                                   Pietra, I'm so glad to know you.