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Prophecy

 

 

One day you will forget to question your worthiness.

No matter what door you walk through, even your own,

you will feel no need to apologize,

concede no need to defend.

You’ll set down your big suitcase of hope

and never ever open it again.

It will not matter if you are greeted by others

with kisses or with snarls, no, you will know

your own value the way milkweeds do,

which is to say, not at all.

Common as dandelions.

Complex as supernova.

Your worth will be that natural, that assumed.

 

 

At seven, I sat on a towel in front of the freezer

with the blow dryer, a sponge and a bucket

to earn money for a new plastic recorder.

Oh, how I wanted that reward.

So for hours, I switched the blow dryer

from one hand to the other, inwardly fussy,

wishing mom would just buy it for me.

How enormous the task seemed then.

When that brown recorder

finally came in a beige vinyl pouch,

I played “Hot Cross Buns” like I meant it.

I blew “Ode to Joy” in bright torture through the house,

and mangled “Mary Had a Little Lamb,”

but oh was I happy.

 

Now, scrubbing my parent’s refrigerator

I see how the tables have turned,

how the work becomes its own reward.

Decades of my parent’s love and sacrifice

bring me to this moment, when,

kneeling in front of the fridge,

sponge in hand, bucket beside me,

I feel like the luckiest woman alive,

Mom going through the cupboards beside me,

humming “Love is Blue,” perhaps a little out tune,

but oh, she is happy, so happy.

 

 

 

 

One Illumining

 

 

midnight walk

even my silence

reflects the moonlight

 

 

 

 

We ride on the rusty old bikes

in the swelter of June,

legs pumping, waving at strangers,

the wind making a kite

of our laughter—

 

The eight-year-old version of me

would never believe

about how happy we are—

she’s still ratting her brother out

to the recess guard.

 

But here we are, like two

young kids, playing in summer—

sticky hands and suntanned arms,

the years an ocean,

our love a boat.

 

 

 

 

One Wild Ride

 

 

the ticket stub

I’ll cherish forever—

admission into this family

 

 

 

 

I want to linger at the side of the road

where the dark birds sing into the eddies of dawn,

yes linger in the low-angled light, in the big-hearted shadow

that blankets this bend in the canyon. Though I have many

miles to drive before I arrive, let me stay here

a while beside the river, still for a willowy moment, the water

the only thing moving. How many landscapes do I pass

without meeting them? How many worlds do I miss

as I rush from one here to the next? Oh bless this

quiet, where there is no hum of highway, no rumble,

no center line, no blur. Why do I so seldom linger,

my bones full of rush and current. In this moment,

I remember how deeply I love the stillness of rocks

that haven’t moved for a thousand years, the calm

of the dirt that has nowhere, nowhere to go.

One Important Tool

 

 

making a shovel

out of my resistance—

digging the rest of it out

Storage

 

 

I want to hear the green song in the veins of the leaves,

the dark song of soil as it warms in the midsummer sun.

I want to learn the low ballad of beets as they swell,

the racy soprano of strawberries flirty and sweet,

the slow bass of the lonesome potatoes as they fill out their lumps.

How have I not harmonized with the thrust of sunflowers?

How have I missed the chive chorus? The verses of nasturtium?

The chanting of onions as they steep in their own minor key?

If there is a garden holler known by the garlic,

world, teach it to me. I want to hear the carrots

as they reach trustingly down, down, down.

I want to carry those midsummer songs in my bones

so when winter comes, and I forget how things grow,

though it’s quiet and cold, I’ll remember, I’ll remember.

 

 

 

though during midsummer in Finland, the sun will float

above the horizon line for weeks, and each light-soaked

day seems longest. That is what I wish for you—

day after day of unsetting love, whole months when you feel

the most beloved, the most seen, the most embraced

for exactly who you are. I want to send you

giant bouquets of days, all of them the loveliest,

all of them invitations to feel the most wholly yourself.

And on the shorter days when warmth feels distant,

those are the days I want to remind you that it’s normal

to feel unlovable. It’s normal to feel not enough.

It’s normal to wish (unreasonable though it is)

that those days would disappear and every day could be

the best day, the longest light, the day most soaked with love.

On Red Mountain Pass

 

for C, A, A, A and J

 

 

I want to share with you a trail with no map

and the clean scent of spruce and a clear Colorado sky.

I want to spend an afternoon above tree line

in a field of corn lilies and alpine buttercups

the pica chirping brightly in the rockfall.

Let’s not find the lake we were looking for.

Let’s stop where our feet say stop.

I want to share a leap and a shimmy,

a chocolate cookie, the mighty salt of love.

I want to slide down snowfields on our raincoats,

to find more paths to take another day,

to wade through the cold rush of change.

I want to take a bolt cutter to any door

that won’t let us in, to let the ears of my heart

attune to your words, to lose our hats to the wind

and find them again. And as the night

fills the room, I want to sing as the guitar

of friendship finds a new tune. I want to hear it

play on long after the day has gone.

 

 

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