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Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

Sunday Morning




A soft poached egg
and a slice of pumpernickel toast,
a cup of English Breakfast
and my oldest friend and I
sitting at the round table a sunlit room
laughing and talking—
there are moments so ordinary
as to be perfect—moments
we feel so completely ourselves
we don’t try to hold on to the minutes.
Such moments don’t try
to put themselves in a picture frame,
don’t pretend to be necessary or grand.
They ask us for nothing except
that we spend them like change,
as if we had a lifetime supply.

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On Christmas Eve




On the doorsill,
left without a knock,
was a very small bag
with a big silver bow.
Inside was a jam jar
with a red gingham cap
filled with homemade confetti,
Its thin red label said:
Christmas magic,
just sprinkle.

And it’s that simple:
a bit of bright paper
cut into tiny squares
and the true love of a friend,
and I am awash with magic,
baptized by tears of devotion
and wonder, marvel
and memory, loss
and hope and gratitude.

Let the jars we are
be vessels for love.
May we be certain
that whatever we carry inside us,
we are capable of real magic—
the kind that flings open
the heart of another
and lets wild joy rush in.
The kind that turns words
into wine. The kind
that takes a gray rainy day
stained with grief and sickness
and turns it into
Christmas.

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After the heart broke like a porcelain bowl,
when it shattered in pieces, scattered,
life itself reassembled the shards.
Friends bring their melted gold
to seal the bits together again.
I trace my fingers across the shining scars.
Some pieces will be missing forever.
Let me fall in love with what has been broken.
Let me dare to call it beautiful.

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Surprise Visit




She arrived with a small box of gifts—
two tree-ripened avocados, crispy kale
she’d roasted with spicy tahin,
a bar of dark chocolate laced with salt,
and a paperback book of koans.
I received them all with raw gratitude,
knowing what was really in that box
was devotion, compassion, integrity, hope.

But it was her arms that saved me
that day, her arms and the quiet song
of her breath, the way she held me
until I felt known—the way a shore
holds a lake, the way empty branches
hold sky, the way love holds us all.

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for Paul Fericano and so many others


I turn first to the chapter
on techniques for broken wings.
I learn of contour splints and anchor tape
and reasons why most broken wings
should not be completely immobilized.

I am not so unlike an injured bird.
Struck down by grief, I too, am unable to fly.
Even walking, I find I’m off balance.
I’m best treated without an audience.
I heal best with absolute calm.

I was unsure at first why my friend
would have sent me—along with tea,
chocolate, crackers and sweet biscuits—
a book on “kitchen healing:”
how to treat injured wildlife at home.

But there beneath the image
of a simple wing break, I read,
a sentence like a prophecy:
“Nature starts the healing process
almost as soon as the injury occurs.”

And I feel, to my surprise,
the tender places where the bones
of my wings no longer protrude.
And though my joints are rigid,
with supports, I’m recovering.

And I am thankful for all the hands of friends—
unskilled, untrained, yet willing to try.
Hands that send letters and blankets
and feathers and books. Calm hands
that help heal these fractures until I can fly.


*Quote from Care of the Wild Feathered & Furred: A Guide to Wildlife Handling & Care by Mae Hickman and Maxine Guy (Unity Press, 1973)

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Standing beneath the plum tree
picking ripe plums with my friend
and my daughter, the air thick
with the guarantee of rain,
I am certain of the goodness of life.
Pulling the fruits to my lips,
sticky juice spills down my chin,
and the golden flesh turns to sweet hum
in my mouth. There are times I forget.
Times when betrayal, loss and fear
flood through me thick and indifferent
as the mudslide that slurred
through the yard later tonight
leaving piles of rubble and sludge.
This is why, today while picking plums,
when they rain down on us like
tiny purple proofs of glorious abundance,
I dog ear the moment, try to cache
just how it feels to be so convinced
of life’s benevolence, of grace.

*

By the way, friends, we’re fine. The house is fine. But man, what a giant mess! The yard is a disaster, in some places feet of mud, branches, root balls, rocks. My husband luckily has a tractor and he plowed out our drive–wholly moly, but it will be a long time before the massive clean up is done. 

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Perennial




Sometimes even a small sweetness—
a kind word, a kind act—

is robust enough to take root,
and though its perfume soon fades

and its petals wither,
the roots persist so years later

when you least expect it,
there in a forgotten field,

or perhaps in your own well-tended yard,
you catch the scent of sweetness

and follow it until you find again
the fragrant bloom of it, not at all

diminished by time. No, maybe sweeter
because it was forgotten.

Sweeter because with roots like that,
you now trust it will come back again.

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            for Marne


And though we have not spoken
in over thirty years, today I invite
the memory of my friend to walk
with me in the garden.
That girl would laugh
to learn I’ve become a woman
who weeds, who waters, who grows.
We were uncultivated together,
unrooted, unmanicured,
and blossoming anyway,
windblown and wandering and wild.
I bring that sweet madness now
into the tidy rows and marvel
at how things change.
For a moment, I am running with her
over a hill and spinning
and crashing and laughing.
For a moment, I am again that girl
who is more dream than flesh,
more wish than should, more
me than I ever could be.
How beautiful the song of that memory,
how it rhymes even now with whatever
is green in me.
Even now, I am running,
spinning, crashing, though anyone looking
at the garden might think
I am peacefully deadheading flowers,
talking to the spinach,
painstakingly pulling the weeds.

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For Ivar


Today as we gently
spread mountain dirt
on your ashes
I think of
that snow blown day
three years ago
when we
at two below
were laughing
at how cold
we were and
how sticky
our skis.
It amazes me
how out of
bleakness
comes blessing.
To this day
your smile—
crooked
and wide as the mesa
we stood on—
still warms me,
your real smile
the only part
of that long cold race
I remember.

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Cheers, Friend

The day bubbles up
like champagne, a burst
of effervescence, bright rush
of intoxication, a golden
stream of goodness—
and I, walking the trail
with my friend, find
I’m tipsy on laughter
and old love, forgetting
for the moment life might
be any other way—
remembering only
celebration, indulgence,
scent of white flowers,
a sparkling that lingers,
the glass somehow
always, sweet miracle,
so full.

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