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After all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain.

—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

And so after shouting

and whining and begging

and crying and whimpering,

simpering, weeping and sniveling,

sobbing and blubbering, bawling

and name calling, wailing

and flailing and thrashing

and sprawling, and after the threats

and after the bribes, after

loudly groaning and prostrated moaning,

at last she was quiet and felt

against her cheek the damp,

and she noticed the whole

world a-glistening and she

walked in the rain, hair wet,

clothes wet, and instead

of complaining, she began

listening, listening

to the humble, beautiful

song of rain.

 

One Potential

 

 

in every moment

a doorway, but sometimes

the door so small

not even my toe

will fit through

One at the Confluence

for Amy and Devin

 

 

two rivers

become one water—

sound of ten thousands hands clapping

One Marriage

 

ever conversing

the canyon and river—

one carves,

one contains,

one sings,

one resonates,

summer, winter,

sun, rain,

both endure

both change

Finn Practices Spanish

 

 

 

And though he struggles to conjugate estar

and though his adjectives precede the nouns,

he’s doing it. He’s telling me about una foto

and all its themes—and though the words

are like strange spices in his mouth—paprika

y cilantro—and though he insists he hates it,

there is a tender sinceridad in his voice, like

a tree seed, perhaps, una semilla, that has

some vague idea of its potential, but is still

so trapped in its seed-ness that it is intimidated

by trees. And whatever part of me that is todavia

una semilla recognizes itself. How frightening

to see all that we do not know, to stand

beneath it like the shade of a giant tree,

to know ourselves as small and still stand straight.

My son finishes his descripción, then smiles

at me, and in his smile, I somehow see

the roots, the greening leaves, the trunk

as it reaches up doing what trunks are made to do.

 

 

 

 

One for the Hospital

 

 

 

like a child hiding

in plain view with her hand

over her eyes,

fear tiptoes into the room,

a bomb ticking in her pocket

 

 

Which, they say, is impossible,

but we all know the impossible

happens. If you dreamed

that you died, then I would

slip myself into your dream,

which is also impossible,

but now we’re on a roll

of impossibilities. So while

we’re at it, let’s say that while

I am in your dream, I slip

out of the dream and into

your room, which is really,

really impossible, but

wouldn’t that be cool,

to travel through dreams

into each other’s lives?

And then, once in your room,

I would watch you sleeping

and if you tossed and whimpered,

distressed by your death,

I’d lay my hand on your head

and I’d say, shhh, it’s alright,

You’re safe. I’m here.

And you would settle deeper

into your pillow, and I would

watch over your sleep and hum

a little song about home,

and the moon would hold us,

because this is a poem

in which impossible things happen,

and its long silver arms would

be warm and tender and soft,

and I wouldn’t wake you

in case it means I have to leave

the dream and find myself

unable to tell you you’re safe,

I’m here. I’m here.

 

Watching Bohemian Rhapsody

 

 

And I am again a girl

riding in the front seat

on the school field trip

while the cool kids

bounce around in the back

and We Are the Champions

comes on the radio. I

can only make out the chorus,

and only bits of that,

but when they sing

“No time for losers,” I

am sure they’re speaking of me,

and I wonder what it would

be like to be a champion

of the world.

 

Forty years later, I

am, perhaps, a champion

for the world. I believe in

kindness, in blossoming

out of brokenness, in

the resilience hardwired

into our bodies, our

brains, our hearts. I

believe in the power

of a song to change

the way we see ourselves.

I believe that when Freddie

sang We, he meant all of us,

my friends, all of us

the champions, rising together,

fighting till the end.

 

 

Every blade of grass has an angel that bends over it and whispers, “Grow, grow.”

            —The Talmud

 

Imagine them, all those angels

jostling over the field,

catching their hands

in each other’s halos,

their wings a shimmering

fuss. Imagine the rising tide

of the chorus, how

whisper turns clamor

turns turbulent roar.

Imagine the dizzying pitch

of encouragement, grow,

Grow, GROW, until bam!

a riotous tumult of green.

 

But what of the song

at the end of the season,

when angels, exhausted,

sigh rest, rest. And they press

their tired cheeks against

each other’s faces, let

their wings dangle

in lucent grace. And the field,

seeded, relaxes and goldens

and sleeps. And the angels

snuggle in sacred heaps and breathe,

and breathe, white robes

like snow, and they sleep talk

between their sonorous snores,

that’s enough, dear one, let go.

 

As summer leans into the fall,

as sunflowers that lose all

their petals—though it takes

some time. As rhyme

 

that slips toward normal speech.

As evening drifting toward the night.

And when you’re really sure

you’re right, let go as snow evaporates,

 

as puddles dry, as clouds

disperse, as waves unwave,

as light rehearses shadow.

And if you’re still sold

 

you are right, then practice

quietude. Like dirt. Like

bark. Like pearl. Like grass.

Like the moon, so dark, so new.

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