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Posts Tagged ‘meeting the self’




I see my old self walking down.
She doesn’t have a mask in her pocket.
She doesn’t move to walk six feet away.
She leans in to hug me, as if it were the most natural,
ordinary thing to do. She looks offended
when I offer her an elbow.
She doesn’t yet know how a virus
will use genome origami to infect and replicate
inside host cells with terrible efficiency. 
She doesn’t know the schools will close
and the stores will close and the streets will close
and the doors will close and it will all happen
in a week. She doesn’t know her daughter
will cry herself to sleep each night for weeks.
She doesn’t know her son will slip
into a darkness and rage she will try to carry.
How the days of her calendar will empty.
How pixilated her life will become.
How the hospital won’t let visitors in .
How she will miss her mother, her father, her friends.
How millions and millions will die. 
And that’s just the health of it.
Part of me wants to tell her what’s coming.
I don’t.
Part of me wants to hug her back,
and I can’t quite explain why I do.
Because innocence.
Because she will be here soon. 

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Imagine


driving south
through the mountains
watching the moonrise—
 
and around each corner,
thrilling as it rises again, again, again,
feeling luckier each time—
 
meeting the self
like that

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I meet her at the Peace Garden gathering

where she’s singing and dancing for peace.

It’s September 11, and her belly is round

and moon-ish. She has no wrinkles yet,

no flashes of gray in her hair.

She is so sincere as she recites poems,

as if with right words and right songs

and right moves she could help

create a peaceful world that her baby will enter.

She’s a month away from her due date

and I don’t tell her those cramps she’s feeling

are contractions. I don’t tell her

he’ll cry for a year. I don’t tell her

about how they’ll laugh too loud together

how they’ll both thrive in the small night hours,

how sixteen years later she’ll marvel

at how love rules her life

in the fiercest and most tender ways,

how the boy will have grown to six foot four,

how he will teach her about fast cars and graphic cards

and forgiveness and humility and apps.

Sixteen years later, she will be less herself

and more something larger, more

driven by love than ever, though it

is nothing she could have imagined.

No, I just say, Nice to meet you. You look familiar,

like a woman I used to know well.

And she smiles in a dreamy far off way.

She thinks she knows what will happen.

Yes, I remember that well.

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