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One Not So Secret

 

 

 

scavenger hunt—

inside every clue

love refuses to hide

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sitting in darkness—

how easily I forget

we are separate

 

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What wants to happen?

            —Joi Sharp

 

 

Today it is the tow truck

that leads me back to myself.

For though I call the driver

and though I receive

a text that says he is coming

and though I have paid

my AAA bill on time, the tow

truck does not arrive.

Though I did everything right.

Though the same actions have worked before.

Still the world has not turned out

the way I expected, the way

I want it to. The car

is still stranded. The tow truck

is still not here. Oh failure,

how clearly it shows my attachment

to outcome. How clearly it

shows me the world is in charge.

I look for more doors to knock on,

try to plan more ways to control.

Meanwhile, I am the door.

Meanwhile, this chance

to let go.

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Pulling the long red radish bulbs

from the garden, I marvel

at their pinkness, rub off the dirt,

bite into the crisp white flesh.

There are few tastes that bite

just right this way—make the mouth

happy to be a mouth and it teaches me,

without trying, that sometimes

when we wait too long,

a thing turns bitter. But oh, get

the timing right, my god, it’s sweet.

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One Slowing

 

 

braiding white daisies

to make a misshapen crown—

living blossom to blossom

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One Rusty

 

 

 

stumbling through

the Moonlight Sonata

while outside the window

a twilight birdsong—

not one note out of place

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It was this day, eight-nine years ago,

that Otto Frederick Rohwedder,

a jeweler from Davenport, Iowa,

got to see his invention in action—

yes, in Chillicothe, Missouri, a baker

used the bread slicer. Everyone said

it wouldn’t sell. Everyone said

the bread would go stale. Everyone

said the idea would fail. It’s compelling,

sometimes, what everyone says.

But sometimes, perhaps like Otto,

I hear the voice beneath the others.

It tells me to believe in improbable things.

Like poems changing the world.

Like Keatsian love. Like the immeasurable

pleasure that comes when the lever

goes down and all through the kitchen

floats the warm and earthy scent of toast,

the morning improving two slices at a time.

 

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One Resistance

 

 

even as my eyes close

some voice in me insisting

I’m awake, I’m awake

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From eggs

the size

of small

jelly beans

come these

two beaks

that peak

beyond the

edge—today

they save

me, these

two tiny

wingless things.

Even this

bruised heart

remembers how

to marvel.

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What a great gift this morning to hear my good friend and sister poet Erika Gordon reading two of my recent poems–one about mothering and another about coming to terms with my body–in this heart-opening interview in “Lyric Essentials.” She also writes about my daily practice and how it’s influenced her own writing. It feels so darn good to feel so seen, so heard. Wow. You can read and listen to Erika here

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