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Posts Tagged ‘patience’

Endurance

In the middle of my heart

is a meadow with tall golden grass

and a big blue blanket

spread out like an invitation.

I never fold it up.

Not ever.

It is always the right time

to meet you there.

The light is always golden.

The air is always sweet.

Even when I ache.

Even when my heart

ticks in my chest,

not like a clock,

like a bomb.

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Perhaps when I’ve lived long enough

that time and I have become good friends,

I will no longer curse at semi-trucks

going sloooow on the two-lane highway.

No, I will simply drive fourteen miles under the speed limit

and happily harmonize with the oversexed songs on pop radio

and notice how beautiful the swirls in the red rock cliffs.

I will not imagine fitting consequences

for drivers who pass in no-passing zones.

I will simply say thoughtful little prayers for them

to protect them on their way

as they blithely jeopardize the lives

of every other human on the road.  

And I’ll be so grateful for construction delays—

how they give me time to sit and reflect

about how happy I am to no longer be

the kind of woman who gets upset about traffic

and all the small-hearted dim wits

who don’t pull over when twelve cars are following them—

yes, it will be so nice to sit there beside the orange cones

with a smile on my face,

not ashamed at all that I used to be so bothered by it,

oh, remember that chapter?

I’ll be so amused I ever thought it was a problem

to creep an inch an minute for an hour and a half—

how lovely the slowness, the pace of patience,

my hands on the wheel, my foot humming above the brake.

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Amen

Oh green, I miss you,

miss how you used

to flourish in me,

no matter how brittle,

how brown I’d become.

I didn’t know then

I took you for granted.

I miss your softness,

your tenderness,

all the promise inside you,

the sunlight you carry

in your veins.

Some days I remember

what it is to be green.

Some days, when it’s gray,

I tell myself green is possible again.

Some days, when the rain

still doesn’t fall,

I practice how to break.

Some days, I swear I’ll find a way

to become green again,

no matter how unlikely,

how parched this field.

Somedays, though I long since

forgot how to pray,

the prayers find me anyway

and my empty hands

will not come down.

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One Hopeful

 

 

 

late-blooming lilac—

perhaps we, too, have something

marvelous about to flourish

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Extrapolation

 

 

 

Today it’s the hummingbirds that save me.

Not because I see one. Because I don’t.

Every year, the broad-tailed hummingbirds

arrive at our feeders the third week of April.

This year, they’ve yet to arrive.

How many other joys have I been awaiting

that are yet to materialize?

It is hard to spend a life waiting, and yet

this one impatience I meet with trust.

Every year, there are hummingbirds.

They return. And when they come,

we’ll feed them. We’ll admire their furious

wings. We’ll forget they were late.

We’ll delight in their curious hum.

 

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IMG_3399

 

 

Again today, the invitation

to fall in love with the world—

with the gray jay who flits

from empty branch to empty branch,

with the sharp scent of rabbit brush,

with the warm spring wind

and the dark buds on the crabapple

still tight with future bloom.

 

Some days, though the world offers itself,

it’s not so easy to fall in love—

days when heartache twists in the chest

and turns in us like a screw,

leaves us raw and sensitive, until,

too tender to hear any more bad news,

we shutter our hearts, we close our ears.

 

But if we’re lucky, an inner voice

sends us outside into the day,

and though it is gray, the world does

what the world does—

holds us despite our heartache,

holds us the same way it holds

the stubby pink cactus, all prickly and clenched,

the same way it holds last year’s thistles,

all brittle and flat and gray,

the same way it holds the dank scent of river

and the moldering scent of last year’s leaves,

holds us exactly as we are

until we are ready to fall in love again.

 

 

 

 

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Allium Sativum

 

 

 

When everything had died,

but before the ground was frozen,

I planted the garlic in four long rows—

 

dozens of cloves deep enough

in the earth so the frost

couldn’t push them up and out.

 

I think of them now as winter

continues to gather the world

in its white embrace.

 

I think of how, beneath the snow,

they’re preparing to flourish,

to root, to leaf, to grow.

 

It’s not so different, I think,

from the ways you love me—

how, sometimes, when everything

 

seems barren, you’ll plant seeds.

And though we see nothing for a long,

long time, there, like cloves beneath the surface,

 

each seed multiplies into many.

So much of love happens invisibly.

So much of love takes a stretch.

 

When the cloves ripen, some we will consume.

They will mark us with their strength.

Some, like love, we will plant again.

 

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The broccoli was a disappointment this year—

planted from seed, it had finally begun to sport

small knobby green heads when the frost came.

And though the broccoli didn’t die, it stalled.

Perhaps I fear I am like this broccoli—destined

to grow but never to fruit. Perhaps this is why

I feel such urgency, this need to write faster,

heal quicker, mature sooner, love more. Because

what if the freeze comes? What if I die before

doing what I have come here to do?

 

There is a part of me who is patient. A part of me

who says, Sweet One, you could not possibly be

any more you than you are right now. She tells me,

You are exactly enough. And sometimes I believe her.

But sometimes I roll my eyes at her and tell myself,

Hurry up, hurry up. I know myself as barren stalk.

I try to will my own ripening. Not once has it worked,

not once, and still this strange drive:

go faster, do it better, do it now.

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I know that things just don’t grow if you don’t bless them with your patience.

            —Emmylou, First Aid Kit

 

 

watering the sunflowers

it will be months before

even a bud appears—

watering the sunflowers

watering the sunflowers

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One Patience

 

 

 

desperate for shade—

I plant a sapling,

bring it water

 

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