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Posts Tagged ‘love’

 

 

 

Don’t stop, she says,

and grabs my hand

and pulls it again

to her back. She

rakes it across

her skin and urges the nails

deeper in to scratch

some invisible itch

that she can’t reach herself.

 

In the thin light of vespers,

her face is more shadow

than shape. Still,

as my hand grazes

her skin, I make out

the place where her brow begins,

the jut of her nose, her angle of chin,

 

and she is no longer

nine years old, but some

timeless version of herself—

maybe thirty, or sixty,

or eighty-four, some year

when I am no longer

near to scratch

the unreachable spot.

 

The thought of it

makes me linger longer

than I normally do—

until her breathing changes,

until she is nine again,

her body curling

into her blanket,

her hand opening

into sleep.

.

 

 

 

 

 

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Unfinished Song

 

 

 

Tonight, I love you

the way the sky loves the moon,

the way trees

love their leaves,

the way loss

loves minor tunes.

 

Tonight, I love you

just as the sea loves the waves,

just as blooms

love their Junes,

just as welcomes

love doorways.

 

Don’t you hear

there’s a question in the air

and it smells like rain,

the rain that’s yet to come.

 

Can’t you hear

there’s a humming in the air

and it smells like rain,

the rain that’s yet to come.

 

Tonight, I love you

the way the earth loves the rain,

the way jazz

loves pizzazz

the way mornings

love champagne.

 

Tonight, I need you

the way the rain needs the sky,

the way blue

needs light, too,

the way questions

need their whys.

 

Don’t you hear

there’s a question in the air

and it smells like rain,

the rain that’s yet to come.

 

Can’t you hear

there’s a wonder in the air

and it smells like rain,

the rain that’s yet to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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telling you I love you—

trying to pour the ocean

into a thimble

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on the shores of you,

finding a place through the overgrowth

where I can let fall everything

and slip in and

stay

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Out the window the world is reassembling itself. The shades of green begin to emerge in the field—so many greens. Some part of me wants to name them all—emerald, sage, Kelly, lime, avocado, moss, spring. I want to name them not to organize them, but to celebrate each one.

 

Last week I did a training on how to assess parental affection. It’s a funny idea, the quantification of affection. It reminds me of the way children will sometimes fling their arms back behind their shoulders in an awkward joy and say, “I love you thiiiiiiiis much.”

 

One of the markers for affection is parental use of endearments—honey, sweetie, pumpkin, darling. As the evaluator, I am asked to mark if this is absent, present or emerging.

 

I don’t think you ever called me honey or sweetie, Dad, in fact, no generic terms of endearment. You always had your own special names for me that emerged out of play—Penelope, Reesmorie, Rosamarinipuscavazini, Roxanne the Foxanne, Rox. I always knew I was special to you, branded by your love of silliness, your love of me. And sometimes, when I was down, I would call you, and just hearing you say your special name for me made life seem just a little bit better.

 

The greens outside the window are brighter now. They seem to suggest an infinite potential inside a finite range. I know it is just the bending of light, but it thrills me.

 

This morning, I would like to give you this sense of infinite possibility, offer it to you while you are far away in a hospital bed and it feels as if the options are closing. Inside that finite window of options, there is an infinite potential for healing. We couldn’t possibly name all the available outcomes, though I suppose we could rate them as absent, emerging and present.

 

What is present is the enormous love I have for you. I’m not interested in measuring it, really, just in giving it to you, letting you know how I celebrate you. As if with love alone I could take away the pain you are in.

 

Who am I kidding? I guess I do wish I could express the extent of love so that you could feel the infinite ways it unfolds in the finite space of my heart. And though the only name I have for you, Dad, is generic, I wish that by saying your name on the other end of the phone, things might feel just a little bit better.

 

Dad, I love you, thiiiiiiiis much,

Roxanne

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with thanks to Artful for the fabulous starts

 

 

Last year’s potatoes—

small red fists

with stubby white shoots—

they have something

to teach the heart about

unclenching,

about how to find something of value

in their own darkness

something that knows how to reach

toward the light,

something that when faced

with darkness again

will reach even farther

until they become

astonishingly prolific, alive.

 

 

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Gift

 

 

 

My daughter and I go down to the river

in search of smooth, flat rocks for the garden,

 

and though we have many times

walked to the river in search of smooth, flat rocks,

 

I feel some odd joy today, as if the familiar path

is leading us somewhere we’ve never been,

 

as if anything could happen this afternoon—

and the heart, which likes to think

 

it knows something about loving,

forgets that we are doing chores

 

and finds it can love even more.

Even my hands feel new,

 

seem to revel in lifting

just because they can.

 

 

 

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