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Showing posts from December, 2020

Diagnosis

            for my father

Hanging up
from the call
I set to cleaning
the floor,
the sink,
the counters,
the fridge,
as if the grim
words
I heard
were grime
I could
scour away,
a pail of
dirty water
I could
pour down
the drain.
You were
father to
fields and barns,
too much
a man
to spend time
in a kitchen.
Yet for all
my scrubbing
this is where
the stubborn stain
of your suffering
remains.


Play notes: My father was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Christmas Eve. He is now under hospice care. Love you, Dad.


Promise


How to bless you these wild precious days?
Throw open the door before you knock.
Receive every shade of who you are.
Seat you at the table before you’re hungry.
Greet the light that shimmers in your chair.
Pour your tea like ceremony.
Wait upon the words you say
like the soundings of a bell
not rung since ancient times.
Speak truth to you, keeping faith,
even when its sharp edge glistens.
Help you walk the ground of your soul
and soar the heavens of your mind.

My joy in you overflows every cup.
Not even sorrow or fear can hold it.
In this world together, by miracle or fate,
we lean into its pleasures and pain,
each moment between us a living shrine.
I won’t ask for your blessing.
Already it is mine.


Play notes: I wrote this with intention, wanting a poem to share in this season of celebration. It needed, I felt, to be a blessing. Thank you for blessing me with your attention.

Embroidery

I weep to hear
my mother weep
telling how her mother wept
forty years before,
not enough money
in her tin
to buy my brother
a wedding gift.

Thus are the
tears of the mothers
visited upon their daughters
through generations.

We blot the grief
from our mothers’ cheeks
with rosebuds and pansies
hand-stitched on hankies
by the needles of Eve.


Play notes: A family story, recently shared by my mother, is at the heart of this one.

What the Moon Said


You can go away
and come back
without ever leaving. 

Sometimes you must shrink
to grow. 

You have many faces 
that are true. 

Sometimes you must repeat yourself
to be fully understood. 

Darkness is light
waiting its turn. 

Sometimes you best reveal yourself
in slivers. 

Your hidden influence
alters worlds. 

Sometimes you’re undervalued
until you disappear. 

Even when you seem gone, 
you’re always there.


Play notes: A conversation with the moon, when full, inspired this poem.