For three and a half hours,

the man in 25 D and I

sit beside each other

and do not speak.

Somewhere, I like to imagine,

is a woman who wishes

that it were she

who got to be the woman

sitting in 25 E. I wonder

what she is doing right now,

perhaps twirling a strand

of her hair and remembering

the way his voice warms

when he says her name.

It occurs to me

that in every seat is a human

who loves and who wants

to be loved. A plane

of lovers, we are,

all of us politely minding

our elbows, traveling

with our seatbelts low

and tight across our laps.

And though we’ve never

met before and will likely

never meet again, and though

we may not even speak

to each other as we fly, just

think of it, all that love

traveling across the country

through a turbulent sky.


Two Just Desserts




crimping the edges

of the pie crust as if

the world depends on it




hiding a key

inside the scent of baking apples—

hoping you’ll use it with me







Today again

this longing

to pour joy


into your glass.

The pitcher

never runs dry,


but sometimes,


we forget to drink,


forget to pour

for each other.

Here. Though perhaps


we have never met,

let me fill

your glass.


There is someone

who desperately

hopes you


will take a sip,

someone who needs

you to pour


into their empty cup.

Don’t worry.

We all forget


how it works.

And then it arrives

again, the invitation


to pour,

to give it all away,

to begin to see


what it looks like

this bottomless


Happy Thanksgiving

I wish every one of you a day, a whole lifetime of giving thanks. Here’s a poem from a few months back published online today in Telluride Inside about radical gratitude, the kind that just rises on its own, no matter what … Autumnal


One Breakthrough




pushing through pavement

bindweed as fine as a sledgehammer

if you’re not in a hurry

The Mother Makes a Request




No, not forever, I don’t

want to live that long.

But another day,

please, another week,

another year, another

decade or four. I don’t

want to be greedy,

but, tell me it’s not my turn

just yet to leave. There

is so much loving left,

so many toys to pick up

off the floor, so many

lunches yet to pack,

so many ghosts to scare

away, so many tears

to wipe, so many lines

yet to draw and erase

and draw again, so

many mistakes waiting

to be made, so much

I still want to give.

Day One




“You know,” says the old man,

“all those corny old sayings are true.”


We are seaside in Bristol at a playground.

My children squeal and chase each other


and I am lost in global thoughts of should and should not,

forgiveness and pride, and who did what


first to whom, and the old man does two pull ups

on the monkey bars. His dress shoes and red socks


dangle beneath him as he lifts and drops, lifts

and drops. Mid-seventies, I guess.


“You can do it, too,” he says, smiling at me.

“No,” I say, “I can’t do it.”


“Today,” he says, “you just hang and pull.

You might not think you move at all.


Then, tomorrow, you’ll be a little higher.

In five days, your chin will be up at the bar.”


Sometimes we guard ourselves with an armor of no,

but hiding inside is a glimmer of yes that,


given any encouragement at all, will grow

into a willingness to be vulnerable.


“Okay,” I say, “I will try it.”

I stand beneath the bars, and raise


my arms and grip the metal and pull.

Nothing happens. “First,” he says,


“you have to believe you can do it.”

I fight to not roll my eyes, but


I tense my arms again and try,

and I move up the slightest bit.


He smiles. “You know what they say,

before you can take the second step


you have to take the first.” Again,

I pull up and feel myself lift,

perhaps an inch. For this moment,


I almost believe anything could happen, given time.

Like a woman who could not lift her own weight


could do so. And a nation that would not forgive

could love. And one stranger with a smile


and some old wisdom could open the minds

of the people he meets, one pull up at a time.




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