Posts Tagged ‘life’

The Conversation

Outside the kitchen door,
your large green crocs sit, empty.
I slip my feet into them
and shuffle around the porch.
Life went on, I say to the air, to you.
I scuffle past the cinquefoil
with its plentiful yellow blooms,
shamble past the small and robust lilac bush
friends gave us after you died.
Look at all this life, I say to you,
to the air. It’s in everything.
It’s in me, too, this burgeoning.
And then I’m crying with the all of it—
the fierce sun and the blur of hummingbirds
and the ache in my chest and
the green in the field and
the terrible, wondrous truth—
Life goes on. For a long time,
I shuffle and talk to the air.
As always, your silence speaks back.
I listen to it beneath the rush
of the river, hear it beneath the birds,
sense it beneath the shush
of the wind in the grass.

Read Full Post »


One day, perhaps, I will be as fearless
as I was last night in my dream—
when I went careening over the high cliff,
and as I entered free fall, I thought,
wow, this is it, you really did it this time—
and as the air rushed past my face
I thought If these are your last few moments,
can you choose to enjoy them?
In every other dream of falling,
I fell into fear, a deep clenching.
But this time my arms unfurled full length,
my legs spread, my eyes widened,
and I gave myself to the falling.
God, I was free.
When I landed face first on a rooftop,
I was, for a time, motionless, bruised,
breathless, and then, sweet miracle,
thrilled by the fall, I walked away,
so much life in every step.

Read Full Post »

New Trust

When the tiny white feather
floats above me in 17B,
when the full rainbow appears
as I drive from the airport,
when I feel inside me
a swelling, an opening door,
the rational part of me says,
it’s just coincidence,
but another part wades deep
in the currents of mystery
until I float on the waves
of what I do not understand—
they swirl me between worlds,
carry me homeward.

Read Full Post »

So Slowly

 I don’t know how refusal
melts away like ice in the sun,
how resistance evaporates
like a puddle, or perhaps,
let’s be honest, like a sea.
I only know that since I stopped
fighting you, grief,
there is peace in me,
even when I am weeping,
even when everything I am
feels bruised with loss,
even when I burn.
I only know since I stopped
swimming against the undertow,
I have been carried
to the most astonishing places
and I did not die.
I was given new life.
It is the only
way I can live.

Read Full Post »

Not Expecting

Tonight, I placed my hands on my belly
and recalled the first time I felt the flutter
of your body as it grew inside mine.
Oh, the thrill of that movement,
sweet proof of your being.
To be touched from the inside,
touched by life itself as it flourished
into trillions of cells. Oh,
to know life like that.
Even now, I can feel it,
the ghost of a kick,
can recall it as easily
as I recall sunshine on the skin.
After your death, is it strange
it feels like I carry you inside me again,
only this time I am the one
who is growing,
I am the one being formed.

Read Full Post »

And here is the miracle—
to find in grief not only sorrow
but a ravenous gratefulness for life,
to find in loss not only emptiness
but an unimaginable abundance.
It doesn’t happen in a day,
no, not even in a year,
but who said miracles
need be instantaneous.

Today I skied through a veil of trees
and forgot for a moment
anything but trees, but skis, but lungs.
I want to tell you in that moment,
there was no one to remember,
there was no one to look ahead,
there was no one except the human
who knew to place the next ski in front
of the other, knew to trust
the ragged saw of her breath,
knew that life is only as beautiful
as death.

Read Full Post »

December 17, 2022

Mom makes the chocolates
while I chop nuts and make dough—
we listen to carols and sing along
as we have since before I remember.
The kitchen smells of mint and sugar
and I try to press the memory
between the pages of the day.
Perhaps it is a blessing
to know how fragile it is, this life.
I let myself fall all the way into the moment,
the sun long gone, but the house
still pulsing with love, still warm.

Read Full Post »

The Growing

Vivian, the garden is ready now for winter.
Today was the day to pull everything out—
the remaining carrots, a few beets, the dried stalks
of sunflowers with their seed heads already emptied
into the soil. Next year there will be many volunteers.

I was surprised how many plants still had life.
The calendula, for instance, had dozens of new green leaves
flourishing around their bases, despite the frost and snow.
The snapdragons, too, had several inches of new growth,
though winter is near, though their flowers are dead.

What an astonishment, how life insists on itself.
Today I read an essay that said, The purpose of life is life.
Something thrilled in me when I read it,
though how to reconcile these words with the choice
your brother made to give up this life?

There are moments when I watch you find pleasure
in some simple act—stapling fabric to a box to make a costume.
Drawing on your hand. Snuggling the cat.
Life seems to burgeon around all the places inside you
that died when your brother died.

It’s a choice you make, I know.
The garden will be full of surprises next year.
I marvel at what grows.

Read Full Post »

At Last

After a week, at last the peaches
on the counter smell like peaches,
their sweet summer scent reaching
across the room to where I sit
trying to balance numbers.
The scent is like a flirty lover
who won’t take no for answer,
who trails fingertips down my cheek
and neck and lightly tugs at my collar,
then tilts my head back
to whisper into my ear,
Isn’t there something you’d rather
be doing, my dear?
And damn if I’m not distracted
and hungry and all I want
is to sink my teeth into peach
and that’s what I do.
So much of life feels like letting go,
but tonight life says,
Pick me up, sweetheart. Take me in.
And the gold sticky juice
runs all over those numbers.
I lick my fingers clean.

Read Full Post »

A bookmark is a kind of promise.
You can go back, it says,
I will mark this place
where you have been,
this place where you
will want to return.

I want a bookmark
for every moment of your life.
Want to mark, for instance,  
the day when we walked the streets
and listened to music.
The day when you held your sister
as she cried. The countless nights
when I sat at your bed and sang.
Days picking cherries.
Hours swimming the river.
Lighting fireworks year after year.

I notice what a bookmark is not.
Not eraser. Not pen.
Not a chance to change the story
or to live it again.
It simply invites us to resee
how not one bit of life is ordinary,
invites us to look back and marvel
at the treasure of each moment,
even as the pages keep turning.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: