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Posts Tagged ‘mistake’

 

 

 

I was so excited to drop the impromptu Valentine

in through the car window—a white heart

with a big blue eye at its center that I’d ripped

into shape from an old magazine cover.

 

It slipped through the open window

and landed just right on the driver’s seat,

the eye facing up, the heart facing the door.

 

Imagine my surprise when my friend Kyra

told me she hadn’t been in town today.

Really? I asked her, stunned. Really, she said.

 

Because who would think there were two

red station wagons in town with the passenger door

bashed in and the back full of camping gear?

 

Dear stranger in the red station wagon who parked in town,

I know I didn’t give you the heart on purpose,

but I’m so glad I did. Sometimes our mistakes

 

have so much to teach us. Now I know

how I want to treat strangers: Like beloved friends.

Like people I thrill to shower with love.

 

 

 

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“We all make mistakes,” I say.
I know she hears me.
I look out the window.

From under the quilt,
she says nothing.
Only her eye is visible

through a fold. I catch it,
then look at the leafless cottonwood.
Somewhere, a dog

is barking. Somewhere,
the scent of almond.
“And then,” I say, “we have

a chance to learn.”
The snow in the yard
flashes against the low sun.

A robin finds a spot
where spring is stealing in,
the grass already greening

between the porch and the snow.
“And sometimes,” I say,
“our mistakes hurt other people.”

In the other room, the sound
of a timer. The sound of
a sponge running over

the nap of the couch.
“And if we hurt someone,” I say,
“it can be important to tell them

we are sorry. But only,” I say,
“when we really are sorry.”
I look out the window,

wanting to notice something
instead of my own quiet hands.
My hands smooth the quilt

where her small hip rises.
I say, “We don’t always know
why we do what we do.”

The timer again. Scent
of almond. Scent of butter.
I say, “Mommy makes

mistakes, too.” I watch
the words as they leave
my mouth and land on the walls,

the quilt, the sill.
A dog barks. Again.
Sharp bleat of the timer.

I close my eyes. Neither
of us moves. Inside me
a door opens. I feel what’s left

of my anger leave with a limp.
“Do you want to ask me anything?”
I say. Slowly, she pulls the cover

away. Her face is soft, guileless
as fruit on a tree. She says
nothing, but perhaps I hear

in her the sound of a door opening.

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