Posts Tagged ‘building’




First, she built a tower of blocks.

It fell down. She cried. She built

it again. It fell. You could have told

her then, Honey, it all falls down,

but no, you told her, Rebuild it.

She did. And it fell. Again.

It is hard to not want to rebuild things.

Towers. Marriages. Egos.

Careers. It is hard to stand

in the crumble of life

and not ache for repair.

Until it’s not hard anymore. Until

you feel the freedom

that comes from the mess.

She’ll go off to college,

get a mortgage, a job,

building it all like you told her.

Meanwhile, you’ll get out

your wrecking ball,

the sun hitting you

where that tower

used to stand.



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First, love builds
a house. It shields
you from rain.

It guards you
from wind. It
makes altars

for your most prized
possessions. Then,
and quite some time might pass,

love razes the house to the ground.
Tornado, perhaps, or
termites. It doesn’t much

matter how slow or fast.
It’s gone. The house
is gone. And then,

in the rubble, the silence,
the eternity
before you move

to refashion the scraps,
love whispers, and only
some will hear,

No darling, you
don’t need the house.
And then love is everywhere.

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Letter to F. C.

I had not known
to call the rabbit brush
chamisa. I wonder now how
this might have changed things,
knowing how the right name
can sometimes soften a woman.
It would be harder to say the word as a curse,
chamisa, chamisa. Today it is easy to enjoy
the way it hums in the center,
then slips off the lips at the end.

And could the tall, fragrant brush have
slipped like those syllables through my
weeding hands? All those years of ripping it up.
I laugh about it now, how I thought I needed an enemy.
And why? Some sense of hierarchy?
Some sense of control?

You are right to notice how I have built
a new kind of shrine, how sadness has
done what sadness does, made me
more open to praising how many shades of gray
are at play in a single moment. It is easier to see them
when I am not so distracted by gold and by blue.

But I have no need to weed out the sadness
as I surely tried to years ago. Perhaps
because I gave it a softer name. Surrender.
. It rolls around in the back of the mouth
before I swallow the sound. It is beautiful growing
out there in the field where before I only
could tolerate bright mounds of happinesses.

I smile that you say I am still building. I like to say
that I am unbuilding whatever it is I think I know.
But that, of course, is just a new way of knowing,
a new way of building. I had to sleep with the words before I knew
how true they were. Fortress or cathedral, you say.
I say, sometimes I hang up a welcome sign
and then, quickly, quietly, close the iron gate.

I would like to build a church to brokenness,
though perhaps brokenness is just another word
for whole. They are equally lovely to say,
one cracking open in the center,
one chiming with ohm.

Already I have said too much. What I wanted to say
was thank you. For showing me what I could not see.
For the call to listen to my heart. And for this line,
the dignity of consequences. I am learning
to feel the blessings, which is, perhaps,
just a beautiful word for “what is.”
Blessings. Blessings. Among many, you
are one of the easiest to see.

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