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Posts Tagged ‘patience’




Please don’t tell me what will happen.
I’ve peeked before at the end of a book
and know how one detail learned too soon
can ruin the entire story.
Not that I wish to be patient.
Of course, I want to know what’s coming,
but this story only works in present tense.
Even when it makes me weep,
even when I’d rather put this story down,
even when I’d like to rewrite the last scene,
please, don’t give me even a little hint.
I am not sure I believe in happy endings,
but I believe in turning the page,
in holding the weight of the book in my hands,
and racing through the text,
my eyes eager to discover what comes next.

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Allium


 
While I did not fix
the thing I most
wish to fix, and I
did not do
the most important
thing on my list,
and I did not save
anyone, and I did
not solve the world’s
problems, I did
plant the onion sets
in the garden,
pressed my fingers
into the dry earth,
knew myself as
a thin dry start.
Oh patience, good
self. This slow
and quiet growing,
this, too, is
what you are
here to do.
 

published in ONE ART: A journal of poetry
 

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I suspected I shouldn’t

open the oven door

ten minutes before

the timer went off.

Is it a sin if you don’t

know the rule?

The cake looked perfect,

when I checked,

but ten minutes later

the puff of white had fallen,

fallen like Lucifer,

fallen into a dense sponge

from which it would never

again rise. Oh angel food cake,

victim of my impatience,

we ate you anyway,

served you with strawberry fluff,

and you, like a true angel,

stayed sweet. It was no fault

of your own that you fell.

How often am I responsible

for the so called failures

of others? How often

do I, in my excitement,

cause more harm than good?

Praise the fallen angel food cake,

that still, though compact,

offered itself to the birthday.

Praise what is good

that insists on its own goodness,

despite adverse circumstance.

Let me remember

the graceful botch,

the redeemable flop,

the crumb yet moist, so tasty.

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The world asks me to be patient.

Every finish line I’ve drawn

gets erased by the wind

and the path goes on, slows on.

I try to measure a life in minutes

and the world shows me the rings of a tree.

I must hurry, I think, and the day gives me

sunshine so warm that my thoughts

turn to honey, the watch

on my wrist starts to laugh.

On some immense scale,

just one moment can balance against

a whole lifetime.

And next, says the world, can you lose

the idea of patience? Can you live

at the speed of now?

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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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