Posts Tagged ‘patience’

There is comfort in knowing
that every year
since the earth was made
there has been
a longest day of the year—
a day when half of all life
wakes to an abundance of light
and then in that moment
of greatness leans again
toward the dark.
There is comfort in knowing
the light comes, the light leaves,
the light comes, the light leaves,
comfort in knowing
all the light that is
reaches toward us,
whether we can see it or not.
It is simply a matter
of staying out of our own way,
and if we can’t do that,
well, that is what patience is for.

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Apricot Wine

for Dave

From this glass of chilled apricot wine,
bottled just days ago,
I drink the long days of summers past,
a potent sweetness that comes
only with time. I drink the memory
of the hands that harvested the fruit,
the memory of patience,
memory of soft rain and deep blue.

If I could bottle this day,
would there be enough sweetness in it
to make a wine I could savor?
Were there enough moments
when I fell in love with the world?
A laugh with a friend, scent of pine needles,
cold shower on hot skin,
and this glass of apricot wine.

Could I learn, as this wine has,
how to let goodness develop,
how to invite the taste of something wonderful
that wasn’t originally here?
In this wine, hints of pineapple, lemon,
plum. By what magic do they appear?
Oh world, teach me that patience.
Teach me to trust in time, to trust
in magic I don’t understand,
to improve with age, like apricot wine.

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The Apology Speaks

How long ago did you forget about me?
I used to bloom in your mind like bindweed,
twisting and lacing through every thought,
but you were too afraid then to say my
two small words. I’m sorry. You wanted
to say them. You meant them. You knew
how much power I have. Even so, you knew
I wasn’t enough. And you knew
I couldn’t be heard in the windstorm
that raged for months. It’s quieter, now,
so quiet I’d think you could hear me knocking
inside your heart. When did you let
the blur of the days obscure me? I’m here,
waiting to be given voice. Though neglected,
I am no less important. Ah, there, I felt you
brush up against a petal, soft as forgiveness,
deep rooted as shame. I’m here, waiting. I’m here.

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One Eventual Path

so long I dreamt of a key—
now it crumbles to dust
this old cage around my heart

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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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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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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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