one-57

there you sit like you always have

mug in hand, books stacked

pictures on the wall

just as they belong

as you pour another cup

and ask me to say more

always more, always listening

heart open, gaze downcast

knowing me

like you always have

across the table, leaning in

laughing

with eyes that hold a universe

you taught me how to breathe

I taught you how to love another

and the carrier pigeons

fly between us

like sparks and flurries

and fine lines of black ink

on soft pages

the notes of lives entwined

loosely

to hold each other up

and push the other out

into the world

we both long for

when the garden walk

is too short for such a long time

and papers rustle, pages turn

today is not all there is

tomorrow we will still love

not like that

like borrowed books

with penciled notes

that we will remember

and be whole

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hushing

I wonder what I’m doing

as every riven thing lies idle

and the stacks grow dull and dusty

as the grass that has grown tall in the yard

around the tree limb that fell

whispering lazy

whispering lonely

whispering lies

and I keep on avoiding

all the things that need doing

because the doing was for so much more

but one needs so much less

and now an aimless dreamer

like I’m sitting in a rowboat without oars

and I want to jump out with a splash and dive deep

because I know the water is cool and good

and somehow, though it’s been so long,

I remember how it feels on my skin

and I know I could swim to shore

and rest my head in your shade

closing my eyes with a breath

sinking into the grass

as it bends around my ears

whispering true things

whispering living things

whispering loveliness

but you say wait

and I feel the sun growing hot on my skin

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a women’s work

I put it on

like the costume I wear

strong and feminine

denim and pearls

hair curled

face painted

pretending

I don’t sweat

or cry

or think too much

or care about the weight

or the incessant noise

that rattles inside and out

or the bruised shins

and hearts

and egos

and they don’t know

no one ever asks

about what’s beating

underneath

just so long

as I still smile

thicket

lost again

legs scratched

bloody

feat sore

stumbling

tangled in deep

under the cover

under the branches

under the weight of this

fearful and falling

hands bruised

reaching out

finding naught

empty

alone

.

.

.

there

quietly

a sparrow

hides

sun

peaks through

and we

find the way

back

to the good path

 

19145848_230832604099815_2208380043247384047_n(look closely, and you will see a bear who likes to frequent my folks’ yard…)

reminded

you

are not

your skin

spotted with age

darkened by the sun

and lined with creases

of joy and sorrow

heart breaking

and swelling

and all these flaws

you see harsher than any

who would cut into the wound

find rest ’round a table

with young sisters

who see you as

much stronger

even when

you think

you are

not

 

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bodies 

embodied

we have no choice

we must walk this path

in skin and bone 

not of our choosing

and learn to love

our blessings

learn to move in grace

leaning in to shortcomings 

and dull, aging eyes

and thick thighs 

the wrinkles and lines 

and soft bellies 

and thinning hair

that all tell our story

and remind us that time

is slipping away from us 

with each breath

reminding us to be

and treasure all 

we only have now

another cup

And then they come again

flowing free and clear

like the water we float upon

swiftly now, singing.

 

And my coffee cup grows cold

lost from lingering hands that do not

tremble with fear in choice

growing stronger, now with grace.

 

So I will read more words

and write them on my heart

where they will grow still warmer

as I drink them down, sweetly.