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One Less Hifalutin’

 

 

 

adding dandelions

to the bouquet of red roses—

the whole room oddly brighter

Secret Blessing

 

after Saint Francis and the Sow by Galway Kinnell

 

 

And when my daughter

runs to greet me, charges

me with joy, I am like

the great thick sow Saint Francis blessed

with his touch. For though

I look in the mirror

and see only what I wish to change,

my daughter sees differently

and bulldozes me with love,

a ferocious blessing,

reteaching me in a vigorous rush

that there is something

beautiful here, though

she wouldn’t name it as such—

and a small remembering

takes root in me and

vines throughout my thoughts,

and I flower there in blue surprise,

my own soil, again, enough.

One Long Walk

 

 

 

trying to see me

the way that cloud sees me—

disappearing as it does

 

In Mid-September

 

 

Summer travels beyond itself and

warms the stones and gives

the flowers more of what they love.

 

it is like a lover who, though he

has told you he is leaving, returns

and kisses you until you are panting,

 

makes you believe he will always

hold you. But then, even as your lips part

and you lean in, he is gone again,

 

taking his warmth with him,

leaving your skin somehow more fragile

in the thin autumn air.

Trickster Ridge

 

 

At the edge of the cliff

the wind tousles the snakeweed

into a riot of waving fronds.

 

They dance and still, and dance

and still, resettling into their natural state

before being danced again.

 

All morning I have been thinking

about resilience, or more rightly,

resilience has visited me,

 

not as a thought, more as

a mandate. And here, the snakeweed,

golden flowers lit by sun,

 

leads me to the edge of the cliff

where the wind whips everything

that dares show up,

 

and the snakeweed—

stirred, disturbed and rearranged—

has never been more itself.

 

One Blood Test

 

 

 

staring at numbers

hoping to find, hidden in percentages,

a trap door

One Impasse

 

 

 

 

pulling on my mask

as my nom de plume

unbuttons her blouse again

On Point

 

 

 

Sewing the ribbons

onto point shoes for the first time

I again feel clumsy

 

in this art of parenting.

Angle the ribbons,

or stitch them on straight?

 

How far from the back seam

does the elastic go?

How snug the fit?

 

How secure the stitch?

It was not so long ago

I didn’t know how warm

 

the bath. How tight

the swaddle. How

to soothe when the babe

 

was unable to say

what was wrong.

So little has changed,

 

me in the late hours

puzzling over lack

of instructions,

 

wanting so badly

to do it right, wishing

for some elusive grace,

 

astonished by how enormous

the love, the ribbon

running through my fingers.

Whenever You Say I Never

 

 

 

Then comes the day

when whatever street

you’re walking on

has you on one side

and your never

on the other and

the two of you meet

right there on the dotted

yellow line and there’s

not a damned thing

you can do to

stop it put its arms

around you, and

you don’t even

have to say yes,

it just happens.

It just happens.

One Parenting

 

 

in the same hand

I hold the rope to bind you,

the scissors to cut you free

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