Posts Tagged ‘togetherness’

Rubbing our eyes,
we sit in a small circle
in the half-lit room,
drinking whiskey
and eating potato chips,
still high on the glow
of good work,
and for a moment,
I see this night for what it is—
radiant as a Japanese maple in fall
blazing vermillion
against a backdrop of brown—
something so wonderful
it couldn’t possible last,
but my god, while it’s happening,
how astonishing, how right.

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Driving over Dallas Divide
I thought how not all streams
are destined to come together—
at least not for a long, long time.
Imagine, two snowflakes landed
side by side atop the Divide. Come spring,
one might flow west to the San Miguel,
the other east to the Uncompaghre.
It would be over a hundred miles
of flowing through beaver dams
and irrigation ditches, rapids
and eddies, before the waters
could meet again.
And so it is tonight, I feel a rush
of gratefulness that however
it happened, you and I have somehow
managed to be moving right now through
these landscapes of change together.
Think of all of the paths
that could have pulled us apart.
And yet here we are, you and I,
moving across and around obstacles,
you and I traveling together
through everything the world
has thrown at us, you and I.
diverging and coming back together,
two bodies, many possible paths
one water.

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We turn off the music. Practice left turns

onto the highway. Park on the bias.

Park on the street. We get gas.

Drive backwards. Use the median.

Change lanes. Use the blinker.

Slow down. Full stop.

There’s a rule for everything

and a comfort in knowing the rules.

“And you can practice everywhere,”

notes our DMV guidelines, “so have at it!”

Imagine if we all practiced everywhere.

If we all signaled before every turn—

turn of heart, turn of mind, turn of plans.

Imagine if we all agreed, no matter where

we’re going and no matter where we’ve been,

that we are all travelers on the same side,

knowing we’re on this road together.

Imagine if we agreed to stop in an orderly way—

no drama, no shaming, no blame,

so that someone else might take their turn to go.

Imagine, getting along with others,

no matter what they believe,

could be as simple as keeping it steady,

looking over your shoulder,

making eye contact in a crossing,

giving each other some space.

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It smacks me, sometimes,

how connected we are—

though we draw boundaries,

build walls, fight wars,

call names, and kill. All it takes

is a photo of earth from space

and I’m stunned again,

how much we are in this together.

And though we’d rather not know it,

every choice we make

affects everyone, everything else.

Perhaps this is why I weep

when the woman I’ve barely met

embroiders me a sweater

with a word she knows I’ll love

and then brings it to my home.  

Because it’s proof of kindness,

a confirmation that beauty

not only exists, it will lead us to each other.

How easily two strangers

might become friends.

It can happen anywhere

on this small blue and green planet—

anywhere two people co-exist,

the invitation to be generous,

thoughtful, to think of new ways

to be good to each other.

Each kindness a bridge that spans

the world’s flaws. Each moment,

another chance to build another bridge.

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like Merino wool, with its fine hairs,

its fibers short, useless alone,


that is all of us, easily broken,

weak, unable to do much,


but those single hairs, when rolled

together and twisted into thread


become not only strong,

not only useful, but beautiful.

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only one other
set of footprints in the snow
beside mine—
I try not to hold it against them
for not being yours

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I like the idea of going there together,
and by there, I mean anywhere you are—
even shivering in an igloo as the Inuit do,

or gaping at the iguanas on a beach in Mexico.
We could chase the Isis moths in distant Indonesia
or race with the impalas across savannas in Mozambique.

If you want to plant an iris that will grow up indigo,
I will help you dig the hole in the dirt outside our door.
If you want to go get ice cream—perhaps a triple scoop—

I will take you to the ice cream store and share my cone
with you. Let’s play swords in the back yard with December’s icicles,
or let’s travel miraculously to the Earth’s iron core.

Or let’s just disappear to some island in the sky,
a place that no one else has ever been before.
Some mornings, I go traveling in the iris of your eyes—

and always I arrive in one of my favorite places to be. It’s here,
with you, wherever you are in this astonishing world
of wings, horns, snow, bloom, reptiles, ibis, trees.

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