How do you shine your light?

You thought you were showing it

sitting with a widow

through heaves of desperate sorrow,

reminding her of her life.

You thought it was shining when you cooked

for your children and rocked them in the night,

not complaining of stolen sleep.

Maybe once in the woods,

chasing wild flowers in snow.

Maybe drunk and dancing,

or running in drenching rain,

there was a glimpse.

There is seriousness

that you may have mistaken for light.

Gravity, responsibility-

felt substantial,

but are leaving you stiff

and used up

and feel like no light at all.

Your punky, soft little animal does not flower

because you worry over injustice, deforestation.

Because you finish the laundry and sweep the dust.

Your light is mischievous-

it is giddy.

It shirks responsibility and wants to play.

It is five sips into strong wine-

it seduces and flirts,

it flutters and broadens a smile,

fills your lungs with air.


it is sparks

of excitement-

your light is a frolic,

an adventure.

You made the light small

out of fear, obligation.

You declared yourself serious and real,

important, deep, loyal-

These virtues

can grind

into dust

the joy

of being