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But darn if that scent of lemon

isn’t just so yellow, and though

I meant to write about the squeeze

of fear, there’s that bright perfume

on my fingertips and all I can think

is how full of sunshine it is, that scent,

though the room is dark,

though the last thing I thought

I could write about tonight

was hope.

Perspective

 

 

I’ve got a wide, a wide river to cross.

            —“Wide River to Cross” by Julie Miller, Steven P. Miller

 

 

Perhaps when the river

we must cross is so wide

and the journey

to just to get to the river is so long

that our legs and arms are weary

before we even reach the shore,

perhaps that is when

it helps to remember

that the heart is infinite

in how much it can love,

and dang if that journey

across the river

doesn’t seem all that far

after all and the body

shudders and trembles

finds a way to take

one more step, and

one more step.

 

 

 

When climbing the inner branches

of the largest spruce we can find,

 

and finding the prickly lattice

an easier ladder than we imagined,

 

we might climb high enough

that we forget if we are climbing

 

to get away from or to move toward,

might climb long enough

 

that at last it is neither tree

nor land nor sky that feels

 

like home, but our own

limbs as they find the next place

 

to step, to pull up, to rest.

 

 

an old black coat I slip on

that no longer fits—

this anger

 

 

 

Standing on the stoop of your heart,

hand poised above the doorbell,

hoping you’ll open the door,

hoping you’ll keep it open.

Love Poem

after Octavio Paz

 

 

under the tired veils of leaves,

under the indifferent rocks,

under the brown needles,

that were once evergreen

under the pinecones dropped

like old conversations,

under the broken sticks,

under the matted exhaustion of grass

comes the tender new green of spring clover,

thrusting through all that was frozen.

 

 

 

Everything’s a gong now—

the clang of the spoon in the mixing bowl,

the growl of the water rushing in the pipes,

the ding of the microwave’s timer,

the crow—

what isn’t an invitation to show up,

to offer the moment all our attention—

scent of pizza, barking dog, lawn mower,

sweet rose tea, that voice in my head,

the chime of the changing light.

 

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