Posts Tagged ‘expectation’




All day the dandelion

moved through the streets

disguised as a woman.

She was amazed

how friendly people could be

when you looked like one of them.

No one tried to pick her.

No one stepped on her.

They even commented

on how yellow and cheerful

she seemed. All I think

I know is wrong, she thought.

She felt oddly at ease

with this notion.

Still, all she wanted

was to return to her field,

to feel the sun move across

the sky, to feel her own goldenness

fade into white, into nothing.

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On Emergence




In May I planted a whole row of beans

along the back fence of the garden,

pushed each of the small white seeds one inch

into the spring-damp soil. I waited weeks.

Not one came up. Not one.

I planted them again, planted them in twos

two inches apart. I waited weeks. Three

came up. There were over 100 seeds.

I am trying to tell you that sometimes

what we wish for does not happen.

Though we do everything by the rules.

Though we have known success before.

Though we long for our plans to take root,

to bloom, to fruit. Then all through the rows

emerged this spring dozens of volunteer cosmos.

This morning, a generous riot of pink, dark pink

and white fluttering in the spaces where

I’d envisioned only the green of beans.

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“Come on,” I say, “come on,

this is your only chance.”

Every day for a month

I have walked into the garden

to speak to the sunflowers.

I try not to sound too urgent.

I don’t want to scare them,

but it is September and they

are still tall green stalks

with small tight buds.

“Come on,” I say. “There is still

warmth enough for you to bloom.

It’s what you are here to do.”

Just yesterday there was an inch

of hail on the divide. Every day,

it seems less likely that there will

be sunflowers this year. I notice

how much I want them to bloom,

how they have become more to me

than sunflowers in the garden.

What is it in us that wants

to see things flourish, especially

seeds sown by our own hands?

The sunflowers will bloom or they

will not. The moment I relax into this—

saying yes to the world just as it is—

inside me, I feel acres and acres

of golden heads all nodding.

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funny how much more beautiful it was
when I thought it was a hawk riding the air,
that crow

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This blank page of a day.
Last night, I had already crumpled
up the paper and thrown it in the trash.
With twin fists, I made it so small,
told myself there were no stories
I was interested in knowing.
This morning, picking it up again,
I watched the paper unrumple itself,
and unfold and unfold until
it was a million million times larger
than any page I could imagine,
big enough to have any story
fit on it, any story at all, even
happily ever after.

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Little Lie

Today it is blessing enough
that I did not drop the green vase,
did not lose my son’s place in his book,
did not spill the full bottle of wine nor trip
on my own feet while running, did not fall into a puddle.
So much that didn’t happen to be grateful for.
We did not get lost in the corn maze for hours
without our warm coats. I did not drop a baby.
The river did not overflow its banks. The raspberries
were a little sour, but at least they had no mold.
And as for that sweet thing that you didn’t say
that I wished you would have, well,
that detail seems so small amidst all these other
wonderful things that didn’t happen
that it’s no big deal you didn’t say it.
I barely noticed it was missing at all.

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In one pocket,
a key.
In one pocket,
a shell.
In one pocket
small red beads
stolen from a boy.
In one pocket,
my death.
In one pocket,
all the words
you never said.
In one pocket,
the kindness
of forgetting.

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Now I know
things change.
It didn’t used

to be that way.
I used to know
I would love you

forever and you
would love me
forever, too.

And love
was a perfect
and shining thing,

like a sun, like
a full moon, like
a diamond rung

in platinum.
I thought we could build
a perfect house

with a perfect yard
and a perfect happiness
inside. I used

to believe in
a perfect fit,
and now I know,

like absolute zero,
it’s a useful concept
that doesn’t exist.

But that doesn’t mean
there is no love.
Nor does it mean

there is not forever.
Things change.
I know this.

Like us.
Like love.
Like never.

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walk this way

It is cold, oh,
it’s so, so cold,
and still the lover
says find the door,
walk out and come
to me. My breath
hangs in the air
between us, then
disappears. I shiver,
and the lover says
take off your clothes
and walk to me.
There are no promises
of warmth. Come here,
says the lover,
and take your time.
This is not how
I pictured it.
Why is it I’m sliding off
first one sock,
then the other,
my skirt, my slip,
my definition of bliss,
and letting them fall
in a heap to the floor.
Where’s the door?
Oh woman, be brave.
And if you cannot
be brave, be foolish.
And if you cannot
be foolish, then
hush and let the legs
just start walking.

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those crumbs
in your hair, I think I’ll
leave them there


it’s not what I
expected, said the fish
when given wings


you and I, two
winging birds that just escaped
the terminal


these hands, so weary
from grasping, finally open
enough to hold light

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