Posts Tagged ‘trust’

A Tale of Two


            for C



I want

to hear

you, but

when you

shout, I

shut my

heart’s door,

lock my

ears. Now,

after two

loud days

shouting back

in lines

I’m glad

I never

sent, at

last I

find enough


to hear

you, but

not enough

trust to

give you

the key


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And maybe

though there

is no floor

you find

the grace

in falling—

after all

those years

of baby

steps, with

one plunge



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The Big Lesson


The big lesson is in not having a platform to land on. —Joi Sharp



Pulling out

the rug

from under

my feet

then another

rug, then

another, only

to find


the rugs

no floor.

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after Ellen Bass



To trust life, that is the thing.

To trust it even when there are gaping holes

in the walls of your certainty.

To trust it even when your foundation

feels like a strange place filled with strange people

who all feel more at home in you than you do.

And when fear enters you like a bear in your basement,

or like three bears, all of them famished,

all of them rummaging through your emergency stores,

yes, when fear offers to give you its name,

when fear brings you a ladders and says, Here,

climb down into yourself, into this chamber

of strangers and bears,

when you would rather go anywhere but in,

that is when you step onto the rungs and go down,

one rung at a time. No gun in your hand.

No bear spray. No knife. There is honey

in here somewhere. And tea. So much here

to offer these hungriest parts of yourself.

And you are ready to make peace.

You are ready to meet them and share.

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April 23



How do they do it,

the broad-tailed hummingbirds,

arriving at my window

the same day every year,

welcome as spring,

reliable as moon.


And what part of me

thrills in their predictability?

And what part says,

a tad too triumphantly,

See, here’s proof,

things come back.


I hear the small birds

before I see them,

their wingtips trilling,

I’ve read how the feathers

that make the sound wear down

from use. By midwinter,


you can barely hear

their bright hum at all until,

preparing to breed,

they grow new feathers again.

How do they do it,

grow feathers at just the right time?


I want to linger in the small

miracle of it, these ears still learning

how to hear and this heart still

astonished at the timing

of the world, how life just knows

when to return, when to grow.

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after Ocean Vuong, “Someday I’ll Love Ocean Vuong”

You do not need to know what comes next.

There is always another storm, and you

cannot hang the tent out to dry before

it has gotten wet. You cannot shovel snow

that has yet to fall.

Put down the shovel. Breathe

into the dark spaces of your back,

feel how they open like cave doors

to let in the light.

Let your face soften. Let the creases

fall out of your brow. The mind,

no matter how clear, will never become

a crystal ball.

The wisest part of your body

knows to run when it hears

the first crashes of rock fall.

It does not pause then to consider

metamorphic or igneous,

nor does it hesitate to wonder

what might have pushed them down.

It is no small thing to trust yourself.

It’s okay to cry. It is right

that love should shake your body,

that you should find yourself trembling

in the rubble and dust

after all your certainties come down.

Your breath has not left you.

Here is the morning rain. It opens

the scent of the leaves, of the air.

All around you the world is changing.

What are you waiting for?

Here is the cup of mint tea

growing stronger in itself.

Here on this cliff of uncertainty

there is a stillness in you

so spirited, so alive

the wisest part of your body

is dancing.

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Skipping a Beat




Climbing down

the makeshift

ladder, the


lesson is

trust, and

the second-

ary lesson

is trust more.

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We wait until the plants are dead.
That’s the time to harvest. First,
we pull away the straw. The dirt

below is damp and rich. We rake
with our fingers lightly then,
so as not to scrape the skin of

potatoes near the top. And oh,
that first glimpse of gold, how
we laugh and remind ourselves,

Go slow. After all, we’ve been
waiting all summer. But sometimes,
in the company of delight,

it’s hard to wait a second longer.
I want to say something to my son
about trust, about the way

that marvelous things sometimes
need the dark in order to grow. But
it is the quiet, now, that I love.

The silence of four hands moving
the dirt. Finn pulls another potato
from the earth, holds it up for me to see.

We shake our heads in what, awe?
Dumb wonder at our luck? And plunge
our hands deeper, deeper into the darkness.

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Too Late

but it usually works
says the man with the saw
to the woman cut in half

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Dear Rumi,

After reading “The Guest House,” by Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks

The house, remember how it was swept
so clean last time you came around?
Not a book left on the shelves. The closets,
hangerless. The drawers, bare. Not even
a dust bunny under the bed. It was terrifying,
really, to inhabit all that emptiness. No cup,
not even a dirty one, to offer you. And you,
unphased, led me to the river to drink.

I am almost afraid to tell you I bought new cups.
And the shelves, well, there are lots of new books.
Many I have not yet opened. I just bought them
hoping to know, know something, something more,
something about nothing. That is ridiculous,
I know, and I can laugh at myself and still
I order more books.

There are rugs in the halls, and lamps, and I could even
offer you a stool. Is it so wrong, Rumi, to have brought
all the furniture in again? Shame, she came again
last week. She spit on my mirror and it won’t come off.
And Fear, he trampled mud all over the new white carpet.
And Anger, he tossed two of the new tea cups
on the floor where they shattered like hope.
And Hope, she picked up the pieces and made
a mosaic of wings.

I am learning, perhaps, to better greet
these visitors and laugh as you suggest.
Sometimes I even get excited to hear
the doorbell ring. And sometimes when I hear
footsteps at the door, I run to the closet,
curl myself into a ball, cover myself with old coats
and boots and shudder.

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