You can stop waiting for me.
I’ve stopped regretting, musing, and agonizing over what might have been
And never was or possibly was but we couldn’t see it because we weren’t ready
For unexpected, unfamiliar joy and flow of creativity and laughter so good
That it had to be bad (if we believed what we were taught).
I can stop waiting for me.
I can do that hard thing, accept that challenge that doesn’t make sense
But which excites me and scares me equally, all the way to my core
That no one will understand (not even me) until I reach what seems to be end
And pause and consider and charge off into a new, preposterous endeavor. …
She’s no longer here, but she will not allow me to fail, to fall into despair
When the crust will not fit perfectly, easy like flow into place like she did it.
Instead, I will listen to gentle laughter, feel quiet hands on my own
Showing me how to crimp, to repair, to make it work.
She will not allow me to fall — at least not forever. She will help me up,
Dust me off, and send me toddling on my own way so different from hers
And yet her fondest dream for me, to live conscious, connected, and sure
That simplest can be best, especially when it comes to pie. …
“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” — Albert Schweitzer
Because I cannot thank everyone who has shared their spark with me,
Know that I am touched beyond measure, beyond words,
Beyond being able to trace what happened when and what spark did what (Not that this would be useful or empowering or mildly interesting).
All I know is that you gave me something more than what we expected
In that daily exchange of lessons, jokes, greetings as we walk past
(Not to mention kind ones who held doors, who gave the last pack of muffins
To me when my disappointment exclaimed out loud, who offered books). …
After the others were gone, Joe and Ashley slid off their shoes, nestled together to bask in the afterglow of a successful gathering. Friends and relatives were gone, the kitchen was clean, and only three conversations had needed to be thwarted so there was no violence in front of the children.
“Where’s Joshie?” Joe murmured into Ashley’s luscious neck. Her low-cut, black velvet top tempted his gentle caress.
Ashley startled. She roused herself out from under the furry blanket.
“Josh!” She strode out of the great room. Her panicked calls echoed through their new house.
Joe got up from the floor, folding the blanket and dropping it into the TIDY box. If he didn’t put it away, there’d be no lovemaking with his beautiful wife tonight. …
The first thing he said to her was a lie.
She knew it. He knew it. Neither of them liked lying, but this time they’d let it go.
“You don’t know what you’re doing, do you? That’s okay, neither do I.” A sleek Adonis in a tiny Speedo bathing suit sluiced water on the pool deck.
Maggie lowered the air horn to her side in defeat. She didn’t know anything about water polo. She also had no idea how to get the teams to stop splashing and kicking so much water onto the set up for the cocktail party starting in an hour. …
Once upon that time, not so long ago, but long enough to see it more clearly,
We were together, an unmatching couple with irreconcilable differences,
Wildly divergent interests and perspectives, never mind your courage,
Enormous appetite for adventure, for challenge, for doing something new.
No one understood us — not our families, our friends, even our coworkers. …
What would happen if:
You took yourself on that hike or went with friends, but agreed to split
When two roads diverged and this one called to you, that one to them,
But you knew they met again a little further along so it wasn’t farewell,
Just a small pause in tromping up a small mountain with people you trust?
If you spotted a log laid out perfectly straight, a woodlands invitation to play
With no stakes, no high-risk required except the one you took for yourself
Knowing you could hop off and pretend you didn’t care (even if you did)
Walk fast and straight on solid ground even if that log called after you? …
She was born invisible
To those who clutch labels as truth and declared her a cute little baby.
It’s true she was a baby, but that’s as far as that label carried truth.
That label dismissed her unique gifts, her fresh channel for life to flow
Into outrageous, never-seen-before, mystery disguised in everyday garb.
She was beloved by one made invisible by living so long
That the ones who hang labels declared her old, done, and not worth much. …
“Are you going to tell her — or must I handle this one, too?” Mrs. Crawford was scolding Mick when Callie walked in the room with dessert.
Mr. Crawford blazed his trademark old school “everything’s fine” smile. Callie’s heart stopped every time he did that.
Things weren’t fine and they never would be.
Mick’s family hated Callie on sight. From the moment she swung open the door, the Crawford clan made polite conversation to cover their horror as they surveyed cracked plaster walls, beat-up wooden floors, and Callie’s inadequate self. Terrible rebounds like her and Mick happened when perfection named Audrey (his) and Dan (hers) abandoned them at the altar. …
Before she knew science, her world offered magic
In leaves that changed color every year depending on mood,
In amber gold afternoons with warm arms
To protect her from too much logic and reason and sense.
All days were long, summer conquered winter, shells carried ocean
From sun-drenched afternoons scented with coconut and salty sweetness
When she was mermaid and princess, warrior and explorer
Who took what she needed and left the rest.
When science and fact landed heavy on her blithe spirit,
She capered away with rhymes, lighthearted merry not knowing
What deadening effects their straight, narrow, and rigid insistence
Would be for innocent wonderers at ease with chimerical change. …