Posts Tagged ‘conversation’

How are you?
she asks walking by
as I sit on my bumper
and unlace my ski boots.
And I say, The track is amazing today,
and it’s true, the snow is hard and fast
and my lungs are still burning
from pushing myself
in the cold winter air.
What I mean is, I miss
my son every minute,
and my heart feels like
a skinned rabbit still alive.
She says, What length are your skis?
I know what she means is,
Oh friend, I have felt that way, too.
And I tell her one ninety,
and we talk about how much
has changed over the years—
like ski lengths, like skins versus scales.
What I mean:
Like the way a person is here
and then they are not.
Like the way I once
could hold him.
Like the way he could once hold me.

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in the silence
the small talk
a whole life
is lived—
a life
in which
you are
only more so,
a self without
name, a self
of no
where, a
self unselved,
is to say
that sometimes
in the silence
of a minute
you find
some vision
so vast
so true
that you weep
before saying,
And how are you?

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walking in chill air
beside the frozen creek
warm words

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In every conversation

there is a table made of listening.

Sometimes the tables are beautiful,

solid, clean—the kind

that can support anything

you put on them.

Sometimes, they’re like

the tv dinner trays

of my childhood—

a little rickety, but they’ll do

if what’s put on them is light.

Sometimes they’re so cluttered

that whatever’s placed on their surface

is almost immediately lost.

Let tonight’s table have a small vase of flowers

and a candle perhaps, nothing else.

May it be small enough we might

see each other’s eyes, might notice

every nuance of breath. Whomever

I am most nervous to invite,

may I invite them. And though

the tea is just a metaphor,

may I offer. May they accept.

Find this poem published in the amazing ONE ART POETRY

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I’m so grateful to Braided Way for sharing this poem today …


In a time of national crisis, what our country really needs is a good poem.
—Herbert Hoover

This is the time when we must say to the stranger,
the other, sit here. Notice how difficult it can be
to even come to the same table, how hard
to look the other in the eye. Something in us screams,
“Right, I am right.” And it is hard to hear the voice
beneath that scream, a whisper of a gospel that says
nothing at all.

This is the time when we must say to ourselves,
I am also the stranger, when we must look
in the mirror and not know who it is we see—
someone capable of being more courageous,
more compassionate, more devoted, more
astonishingly vulnerable and connected
than we ever knew ourselves to be. Who
is that stranger in the mirror, we must ask,
and vow to never let her down.

This is the time when we must write the poems
our country needs, the poem that builds the bridge
from truth to truth and never touches the river
of lies. The poem that allows our country
to fall in love with itself again, the poem
with enough places set at its table
that everyone knows they have a place to sit
and the rest of us know when that person is missing
because their chair is empty.

This is the time for the beauty that passes
all understanding, a testament of goodness
that cannot be contained, a congress of delight.
This is the time to pick up your pen
and with your most tender, most beautiful,
most ferocious self,

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blurting out thorns

when for weeks I practiced

how to speak in rose

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no wine, so we toast

with our laughter—

our joy half full

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Because we are traveling,

I say, We’re on the plane.

I say, Just landed. I say, See you soon.


As always, my heart leans beyond

the transactional. Longs to say,

Tell me about the pain. Longs


to say, I feel lonely. Longs to ask,

What do I most need to know?

But it’s not easy to hear. And


there isn’t much time. Is that

just the same old excuse?

And so I say, I love you,


because it is true. Say,

Can’t wait to see you.

Say, Gotta go. All through


the flight, the heart keeps leaning,

rehearses the five

most important words:


tell me all about it.

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some flowers bloom

only at night,


so it is with certain conversations,

that open in the dark,


the whole room

blessed with sweetness




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A metal table in the sun. Beyond it, winter.

Two women sit, brought here by rambling.


One woman weeps, tears of mortality.

The other woman rhymes with her.


Everything rhymes eventually, though

neither of them know it yet. The grass.


The snow. The dirt. The way the two women lean

into shadows. It’s not that time makes demands,


it’s just that the women still see themselves

as separate. They grasp at the present,


thinking this makes them a part of it.

Meanwhile, the birds. Meanwhile,


the trees. Meanwhile, the cells, changing.

Meanwhile the sun slides down the sky.


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