Posts Tagged ‘surprise’

Today, I notice something green
spearing through the dirt
in the garden, and only
because there are eight such spears
rising in perfect rows do I vaguely remember
last year I planted bulbs there,
but I don’t remember what they are.
How much of the beauty we plant
do we forget?

There is so much in me that grows
because of words you have sown.
I doubt you remember them,
I don’t remember them, either,
only that your words were kind
and now they have taken root.

Who knows what the flowers
will look like? I water them, though,
trust I’ll be delighted when they bloom
into a garden of beautiful I don’t know.

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They said

it’s a wall

so I believed

it’s a wall

until I reached

through the wall

and found my hand

full of flowers.

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Darn Lucky




It happens, you know—the day opens itself

like a tulip in a warm room, and you meet someone

who amazes you with their willingness

to be a thousand percent alive, someone

who makes you feel grateful to be you.


And it’s as if life has been keeping a beautiful

secret from you—like the fact that they make

elderberry flowers into wine. Like muscadine.

Like the yellow-green floral scent of quince.

Like the perfect knot for tying your shoes.


And it turns out life does have wonderful

secrets waiting for you. Even when the news

makes you cry. Even when some old pain returns,

that’s when you will meet this new friend.

Someone wholly themselves. Someone


who makes you smile in the kitchen, a smile so real

that when you go out, the whole world notices.

It’s enough to make you want to wake up in the morning.

To go into the day. To be unguarded as a tulip, petals

falling open. You never know who you might meet.



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this ramshackle heart—

who’d guess there’s

a baby grand inside

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carrying that sled

uphill for so long, I forgot

it was for riding


shedding the roof

when the house no longer fits—

now nothing between us and the stars


but I miss the weight

say the hands, too free after

setting down the stone chest


running full speed

into my own fear, I ricochet

into the arms of god

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New Neighbor

So surprising,
that elephant when he walked
through the door clearly marked
elephant, a door
I never knew I had.

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On your head,
the first of the blackbirds sits.
Another alights
on my shoulder.
Another on your shoulder.
My head. Your lap. My lap.
My other shoulder. It is
a dark, uncomfortable weight,
though there’s also
the shock that it’s happening
at all. Where did
these birds come from?
And how is it they happened
to land here?
And so who could blame us
for laughing out loud
when what had begun
to feel like a burden
turns into a riot
of wing and black feather
and careless cawing,
oh hell, let’s join them,
it makes no sense,
whee! caw, caw, caw.

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Four More Surprises

rhymed in ice
the old cottonwood tree—
an altar for emptiness


that rock in the highway—
only the drivers think
it’s out of place


elk in the windshield—
taking time to notice
how brown its eyes


when I forgot
I was waiting, the flower

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balanced on a twig—
two blue dragonflies and
all that space between them


the story, calloused
and gnarled, inside it
red leaping blood


picking up the moon
like a telephone to dial
your number, of course


dessert for
the Armageddon


opening a can
of worms to find
rose petals

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