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Posts Tagged ‘ode’




I remind myself I have chosen this—
this lethargy, these aches, these chills,
I remind myself I paid
for this sore arm,
I paid for this chance to shiver.
I wanted the broken down parts
of the virus to enter my body,
wanted special molecules to make
my immune system stronger.
Oh Shingrix, you have done
what my husband, my mother
and my doctors cannot—
you have put me in bed before nine o’clock.
You are like a school marm
with gray hair pulled back tight
and a ruler in your hand
to smack my antibodies to attention.
When I do not get a painful, red blistered rash,
I will likely forget to thank you,
just as I forget to be grateful
when there is not a plague
of grasshoppers in the field,
forget to be grateful when I make dinner
without slicing off my fingertip,
forget to be grateful for the tire
that didn’t fall off of my car.
So I’m thanking you now,
now while I feel it, now when I’m aware
that a half milliliter of prevention
is worth seven pounds of rash free skin.
Thank you for stimulating my T cells.
Thank you for days when I will smooth
my hands across my thighs, my hips,
when I will trail my fingers across my ribs,
for nights when I will slip into soft cotton sheets
and never once think of you.

*

hey friends, I will be camping in the desert the next couple of nights, so no poems for a few days, then I will return with a small desert bouquet

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And there you were not
on the shelf with your shiny red skin,
and there you were not in the pan
in thin pink rings filling the air,
and there you were not
in the sauce, that warm underlayer
that grounds the bright tomato—
all night I missed you.
All night, the red wine kept asking,
Where is it? Where is it?
All night, I thought of how
what is missing is sometimes
most here.

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Tonight when we light
the third candle,
the candle of joy,
I remember
I am a girl
sitting beside
an evergreen wreath,
giddy with advent,
and I breathe in the scent
of spruce and wax
and fall in love
with the growing
of the light—
how each week
the tapers burn brighter—
and such a surprise
to find I am also
in love with the unlit candle,
in love with the wait,
in love with the part
of me that even
in darkness
knows itself
as flame.

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Ode to Syn-propanethial-S-oxide

You hide in the flesh of onions

the way hope hides in certain Superbowl commercials.

It’s not that I don’t expect you,

so why does it feel like an ambush when you,

chemical irritant released into air,

bring tears to my eyes and I stand there

at the kitchen counter weeping

over the cutting board,

weeping as if a lover died,

as if listening to cello,

as if I realize again there is so much suffering

in the world I cannot change.

You remind me it’s natural to cry—

that waterworks are hardwired into the eyes.

You teach me sometimes what nourishes us

also burns.

There are times when I’ve wondered

why we aren’t all weeping—

weeping for the lack of connection,

weeping for children who hunger,

weeping for love between friends

and the red of maple leaves—

it’s as if you give us permission,

prepare the pathways,

so that when at last we succumb

to our glorious humanity

we don’t try to hide it,

we don’t act as if it’s a problem,

we just stand in the center of the room

and let those hot tears

fall down our cheeks,

the salt sharp and hot on our tongues.

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Too sharp to be candy,

and yet you manage

to trick the tongue

into willingness.

Other’s may have

better medicine,

may get to the heart

of what’s wrong.

But you, you bring ease,

you relieve.

Your whole purpose:

To soothe until

healing can happen.

To insert a little sweetness

into misery.

To relax what wants to erupt.

To make the moment bearable.

To keep peace.

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In the spaces between

the words I didn’t write,

there was a pour of poison.

A wall-full of bricks.

The barbs from a hundred hooks.

I almost forgot how in the writing

some of that poison would

slip into me, how I despise

a wall, how each hook

demands a bit of my blood.

I spent hours not writing it,

used up reams of thoughts.

It was a relief when the wind

blew away all the words

except these: I understand.

Those, it let me read again

before they, too, blew away

and I didn’t chase after them.

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The Paper Clip

download-1

 

 

Something splendid about the way

it holds things together

with elasticity and torsion,

Such simple invention—

a steel wire bent on itself.

Less violent than a staple.

Less permanent than glue.

But effective and elegant,

it does what I’ve so often

wished to do—it unites.

It gently connects what is separate.

It doesn’t leave a scar.

It maintains order and humbly

keeps the messy world composed.

But then, and here is where I fail,

it easily lets things go.

 

 

 

 

 

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Ode to the Patty Pan

 

 

 

I can imagine not everyone would look

at this plate of grilled pattypan squash

and start to salivate. I was one of them once,

 

those who think they dislike zucchini, crook necks,

patty pans. I, too, shunned the spongy flesh,

the seeded core. I was a scorner of squash.

 

I don’t exactly remember when it changed,

when I stopped wishing it off my plate,

began to grow it myself. Began to crave it—

 

and not just grated into sweet bread.

Not just sliced and forgotten in a rich tomato sauce.

No, I came to delight in the very squash-ness of it—

 

the way it embodies the abundance of summer.

The way it takes on other flavors but never

abandons its own. And here, tonight,

 

stacked on my plate like small green suns,

blistered and sweating from the grill,

the pattypan squash are luscious, delightful,

 

so utterly themselves. How hard it used to be

to appreciate them. I remember. How easily

it comes now, this thrill in what summer provides.

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