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Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

You Belong Here

            for SRB

You belong here—

here in the world

of wonder and fear,

of Zumba and street fights,

of pink hats and protests.

You belong here

with your questions,

your anger, your trust,

your voluptuous cursive,

your stubborn tears,

you belong here.

With your fine darkness,

your involuntary shine,

your shuttered faith

and your reckless love,

your uncertainty,

you belong here—

in the alleys, the rooms,

in the meadows, the halls,

in the sacred cathedral

of your body.

Whether or not

you asked to be here,

whether or not

you feel wanted here

here is where you belong.

It is for you the moment arrives,

wondering what comes next.

It is for you the next breath

finds your body and fills you,

it’s for you, this day, you

right here where you belong.

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Down by the river we sit and talk.

When I think I can’t ache any more,

the world serves more heartache.

And I meet it.

I say no, but I feel myself stretched

by some great invisible hand,

rendering me spacious enough to hold

what must be held.

When we rise to leave,

the river doesn’t stop.

Nor does the forgiving wind.

I swear I feel them move

right through me.

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We speak the way old friends speak—

knowing each other’s stories,

the nuances and undertones.

She always knows just what to ask,

just how to nudge me toward

quiet revelation. I don’t do my best

to hide. In fact, it is easy

to speak of my brokenness.

We pause in a field

where the forest has been felled

in an avalanche—

the slender white trunks are strewn

in a chaotic jumble—

but oh, how clear the view.

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for C, A, A, A and J

 

 

I want to share with you a trail with no map

and the clean scent of spruce and a clear Colorado sky.

I want to spend an afternoon above tree line

in a field of corn lilies and alpine buttercups

the pica chirping brightly in the rockfall.

Let’s not find the lake we were looking for.

Let’s stop where our feet say stop.

I want to share a leap and a shimmy,

a chocolate cookie, the mighty salt of love.

I want to slide down snowfields on our raincoats,

to find more paths to take another day,

to wade through the cold rush of change.

I want to take a bolt cutter to any door

that won’t let us in, to let the ears of my heart

attune to your words, to lose our hats to the wind

and find them again. And as the night

fills the room, I want to sing as the guitar

of friendship finds a new tune. I want to hear it

play on long after the day has gone.

 

 

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Ravenous

Perhaps I was already full

when Danny offered me

a sweet potato pancake

for breakfast, but there

he was with a bowl

of homemade batter

and a cast iron frying pan

hot on the stove, and so

I did what I longed to do,

I said yes, yes to feeding

a hunger that has little

to do with food—

the hunger for someone else

to offer you something

they’ve made, the joy of sharing

a meal together, the honor

of being served. The fact

that the pancake was delicious—

both sweet and hot—

was a bonus. The salsa

he handed me fiery—

fantastic as long friendship,

fierce as gratitude, as love.

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for Jim Tipton

 

 

I woke up needing proof of love,

proof that we feel it,

proof that we share it, proof

that it matters. And there,

old friend, on the shelf

I found you, surrounded

by dusty covers. I hugged

your pages to my chest.

Is that silly I somehow felt your book

hold me in response?

The way you would hold me—

the kind of embrace that has summer

inside it, and desert honey, and patchouli, and silk.

 

No one could write a love poem

like you—a poem that made

almost every human feel as if they, too,

had a heart full of orchards made for wandering in,

eyes wide as high mesas

where any lover would want to explore.

 

Today, I want to read everyone your book.

I want the dark bread of your words to find

every lonely woman, every lonely man,

retelling them they are beautiful. I want

the salt in your words to dissolve on my tongue,

to attune me to thirst. I want to remind

every person what we are capable of—

a love so astonishing it gathers in us

like ripe peaches, sweet,

so impossibly sweet, and yet real—

something we treasure so completely

that all we want to do is give it away.

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Always Home

 

 

 

And on that Saturday morning

when you feel isolated, alone,

no matter the time, or even

if it’s a Tuesday, call me.

I won’t be able to fix anything,

but I will remind you that you

are home, right there in your body,

you are home. And I will listen

as you weep. I will listen.

And though I won’t sing

in a way you can hear,

I will sing for you. I will sing

a circle around you,

I will sing you home.

 

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for Danny, Wendy & Art

 

 

The breeze was warm

and the day was hot

and the shade on the porch

was generous.

It was nothing magic.

It was total magic—

each moment, each word

a spell.

We spoke of news

and poetry, we spoke

of healing and loss.

It was forgettable.
I will never forget it—

the hush of our voices,

the currents of laughter

that wound around

the trees and the willows,

surrounding us like moat.

How could we predict the moments

that shape us the most?

The dogs lying at our feet.

The summer just starting

to burn.

 

 

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Because you are the porch,

I am the rocking chair.

 

Because you are the pen,

I am the unfinished poem.

 

In the conversation of what happens next,

I am always the pause.

 

I am always the pause

and you the verb.

 

And if there should be a run on sentence

that jogged right through the

 

end of the story, way past the end,

well, I would not be the period.

 

But I would be ever after.

And I would be the one still listening after that.

 

 

 

 

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We all belong to the same galactic oneness.

—Carlos Santana, Master Class

 

 

I could be the doctor who, overwhelmed

in the ER, went home and killed herself.

I could be the sixteen-year-old boy

who had to cover his father with a white sheet

before the coroner arrived.

I could be the white sheet.

I could be the lawmaker unable to sleep,

or her pillow that hears her cry out in fear

when at last the sleep arrives.

I could be the rhythmic hissing of the ventilator

or the wail of the wife, or the weary hum

of the custodian beneath her mask

as she wipes the surfaces clean.

It could be me, the eleventh death

in the town next door to mine.

It could be me, the one who

unknowingly makes you sick

because I don’t know I carry

something deadly inside my breath.

And so I don’t hug you when I see you

across the post office lobby,

though my heart leaps up to hold you.

Because you could be the flat line

on the EKG.

Because you could be number twelve.

 

 

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