Posts Tagged ‘opportunity’




I couldn’t believe

she tossed me

into the back of the car—

after all, a key

is an important thing.

But toss me she did.


You should have seen

her face when all

the car doors locked,

me sitting there

on the back seat


That can’t happen,

she said. But it did.

That can’t happen,

she repeated,

as if her words

might change the world.


But everyone knows

words won’t open

a locked door.

That can’t happen!

She’s still ranting,

walking circles

around the locked car.


What’s done is done.

How many innocent choices

have pitiless consequences?


Tossing a key. Not

washing your hands.

Not saying I love you

when given the chance.






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They say opportunity knocks, but then
once it’s in, I’ve seen it punch. Explode.
Manhandle. Demand. Require. Kick.
Throttle. Strangle. Rebuke. Erode.

If only it only knocked, perhaps
I’d be more inclined to answer the door,
but sometimes, once in, it takes all you have,
and then, when you’re spent, it takes more.

*Dear Readers … this is just to say that this is NOT the poem I thought I was sitting down to write, but this is the poem that showed up. And any of you who have taken a class with me know that I am a big fan of the dictum of Jack Mueller, Obey the poem’s emerging form. So I did. I think I almost scared myself with this poem. Enough that I thought twice about sending it out. But here it is …

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To live a day, to care for a single day, is to shape a life. Each day is an opportunity to choose where to place our care. What shall we do today? What simple acts of remembrance will we use to punctuate our time and enrich our walk upon the earth this single day?

—Wayne Muller, How, Then, Shall We Live?



How many kindnesses did I miss today?

How many chances to help another

did I walk past, my eyes somehow fixed


already around the corner? How much beauty

went unnoticed? How much joy left

unspent? I am like the hiker at the foot


of the mountain who wanders in the fog,

not noticing the fog circles only the base. If I chose

to climb just a little, I’d see how red cliffs reflect


afternoon sun, see how new snow

catches in the trees and makes of each limb

a masterpiece. How is it I am not in


a constant state of wonder? Even

the fog gathers the pink of morning,

makes a practice of softening each


surface it touches. So simple,

the art of choosing to pay attention,

a sidewalk not so different in this regard


from a mountain. Every face a chance

to fall in love. Every human story

an opportunity to listen, to place our care.

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Look Around

illustration by Leanne Canty

illustration by Leanne Canty

Look Around

‘Opportunity’ comes from the Latin porta, which is an ‘entrance’ or ‘passage through.’ The word is associated with doors and entranceways and an oppourtunus then, is what offers an opening, or what stands before an opening, ready to go through.
—Lewis Hyde, Trickster Makes this World

A crumb is an opportunity
for an ant. Strong wind is an opportunity
for the albatross to soar. An apple, ripe

and wholly red, is an opportunity to share.
For the aardvark surrounded by termites,
opportunities are everywhere.

The rain, to the agave, is an opportunity
to blossom. To Cleopatra, the venom of the asp
was an opportunity to die.

In golden autumn, aspen leaves are an opportunity
to get lost. An acorn is an opportunity for future shade.
A queen of hearts is an opportunity for an ace of spades.

There are always opportunities to listen. An enemy
is an opportunity for antlers to do what antlers do.
The temperature of a nest is an opportunity for an alligator egg

to be an alligator boy or an alligator girl. The artichoke
is an opportunity for the thistle to be valued.
The vast Atlantic Ocean is an opportunity to be alone.

What is not an opportunity for gratitude? A zillion zillion
blessings wait in every moment, portals for awe,
passages to astonishment, one way tickets with your name on them.

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