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Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

 

for Corinne, skate skier extraordinaire

 

 

The meadow was a violent scourge of white,

and still we chose to leave our cars and ski.

The wind and blowing snow obscured our sight,

 

lashed through our hats and stole our breath, but we

leaned into it and laughed, as if the storm

were nothing more than an excuse to be

 

more brave, more willing to eschew what’s warm

so we might face our fear, find joy in risk—

and sure enough, I felt myself transform

 

from nervousness to animated bliss—

and we for hours skied amidst the gusts

and for that time, knew nothing more than this:

 

to meet the crazy storm. When scared, to thrust

ourselves into the howling world. And trust.

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with a line from “Snow” by Anna Akhmatova

 

 

The spruce boughs are empty

of snow as we ski up the old

railroad grade. And when we arrive

at the top, the sky opens up,

an enchantment of blue.

I want to ask her how it felt

to be caged, to be clipped,

to be silenced. But she looks

at me as if to say the mood

is too tender for talk. And so

we let the words disappear

like the snow that is not falling,

and we move together

as good friends do, letting

one lead, and then the other.

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wanting to be your lifeboat

when what you really need

is someone to let you swim

 

 

 

 

and if you live nearby, you may want to consider this public speaking class I will be teaching for the next six Thursdays through Ah Haa … http://www.ahhaa.org/calendarize/public-speaking-rosemerry-wahtola-trommer/

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One True Friend

 

for Michelle

 

 

dipping her spoon

into all the light of the day—

offering me the first bite

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I’m sorry, I say, that you have to go through this,

though even as the words wing out like ravens or robins,

I think of the way every hardship I’ve met

has unburdened itself into blessing. Not right away,

of course, and not before I’ve suffered alone

in the light. Eventually, even the worst forest fire

is eventually just a burning bush. Eventually, a crumb

becomes a meal becomes a feast. But no one suffering

wants to hear how suffering is good for you,

how the struggle makes you stronger. And so

I say, I’m sorry. And I mean it. The fear, the ache

make a ruthless nest. Nothing to do but love each other,

even as our own hearts are breaking. That breaking,

somehow, links us ever closer to each other,

as if it contains some secret for living. Love itself

holding the knife, love itself holding the salve.

 

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for Susan

 

 

Walking the world of dry leaves

and rickety bridges,

there as in old letters,

we marvel at the things

we once knew that we have

just recently discovered—

How new it all is again.

How we orbit the same sun

every day and still

can be astonished

by the way things

shine.

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for Barbara Ford

 

 

We sit on the couch in the low lamplight

and talk for hours about the heart,

its longing to know and be known.

I watch your hands as you speak, how

your long fingers dance. And sometimes,

my eyes catch on a moth amusing itself

at the edge of the room, content in shadow.

We are both well aware that pain

can also be a blessing, that just because

something is not going right doesn’t mean

it is wrong. There are problems

we will never solve, but tonight, it is not

about the solving of things, it’s about the feeling

of them, the willingness to lean over the edge

of the well-lit world, the thrill of fluttering

in the darkness together.

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Everyone you invite into your life,

ask them to invite

a friend—

then build in your heart

a room big enough to hold them all,

a kitchen large enough to feed them all,

and a host of intimate spaces

to meet them.

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for Jack and Julie

 

Though I am running on a dirt road in Colorado

my mind is in Michigan near a small pond

where dozens of stoic frogs rest around a stone Buddha.

 

The Buddha, I suppose, would disapprove

and tell me to let my thoughts be where I am,

but there is joy in letting them run free

 

and noticing where they choose to go.

They move from the pond up the steps and into a house,

then stroll into rooms where books

 

are piled in every corner and a new puppy

begs to be loved. We all want to be loved,

don’t we, which is perhaps why my thoughts

 

continue to run to this warm kitchen where

the tea pot is always ready with hot water

and there is a half-complete drawing

 

waiting on the table. Home of music,

home where poetry comes for pizza,

home where love is abundant as frogs

 

still resting there beside the Buddha.

Odd comfort in knowing that they are still there,

those frogs, even when I am not. Odd comfort

 

in finding the mind knows how to return,

though it’s over a thousand miles from here—

like one of those stories about the dogs

 

who, against all odds, return to their owners

though they’ve been dropped off many states away.

And why not return to the voices and stories

 

of people we love—why not trust our internal maps

to bring us closer? Why not bring them with us

on the long dirt road where the sky is darkening

 

and the mile markers blur into uncertain futures?

There is so little we can trust—but this detour

feels honest, real as the smile of the Buddha

 

as the frogs leap all around, real as the scent

of paprika and cheese, real as the laughter in the kitchen

so humble and alive the whole world  leans in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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After many, many hours in the car,

through spring blizzards and shine,

over passes and through tunnels,

we have conversed about loneliness

and loss, isolation and struggle,

we’ve found laughter inside

awkwardnesses and cried

for reasons we don’t understand

and we have solved nothing

of the world’s problems, nor our own,

but in this last hour, a lovely

silence joins us in the car,

all those unanswered questions

somehow content to look out the window

and admire with us the white rumps of elk

and the mountains newly covered

with snow, so much already

growing beneath the white.

 

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