If I Were

If I were a seed,
breaking the brittle walls
of my dying shell,
I would brave the darkness
for the light calling my name.

If I were a sprout
I’d reach my flimsy leaves
up to the sky and
sing my songs of thanks for
the life-giving rain.

If I were a tree,
solid and stoic, rooted in
Mother Earth’s flesh,
I would stand fearless through
the fiercest storms, unswayed.

But I am only human,
cowering in darkness,
hiding from the storm in shame,
praying someday that
I’ll become strong again.


I think sometimes that it’s not enough
to be just enough
for existence’s sake;

not enough to stand in the wake
of your life rushing off
to greet your fate;

not enough to let moments pass
without taking a chance
‘cuz your hands might shake;

not enough to run from love
for fear that
your heart might break.

What is it that makes you feel alive?

For me, it’s the look in someone else’s eyes
when you talk and they see you,
straight through your lies and sweet alibis,
and still wanna be by your side.

For me, it’s the laughter that heartache brings
three hours after the vodka when the dawn bird sings
and you’ve stayed up talking ’bout crazy things
and you feel like this friend’s given you wings.

For me, it’s the tip-tap of little feet
when my goddaughter announces her pedicure’s complete,
but she’s only two, and it’s so sweet ’cause
she’s pure and innocent and ready to beat
down the doors of this universe, being hardly discreet,
to make the world worship at her feet.

For me, it’s the music that moves my soul,
the poetry that makes me feel whole,
the chaos when life’s outta’ control
and all you can do is just not let go
of what makes you feel,
what makes you real,
what makes dawn break and the world appear,
what makes the earth shake, bringing mortality so near,
what makes love push you past the point of fear,
what makes you bleed,
what makes you tear,
what makes you wanna’ stand up and cheer …

because it’s not enough
to be just enough.

At least, it’s not for me.

Good Morning

Sitting in the quiet of the world,
embraced by the waning dark of night,
I think of you and I want to say –
“Good morning…

Look what joys life continues to bring!
Hear the songs my heart’s learning to sing!”
Then I remember you’re not here on this
good morning.

So I whisper my words to the sky,
as the darkness gives way to the light,
and I still my aching heart,
ever mourning.

Let the day come as it may.
Let life pass, let my soul age.
‘Til we meet again, I’ll greet you in my thoughts
each morning.

The Mourning Year

In month zero
I mourned the loss
of a child I would never meet.

Then month three came
and I mourned the loss
of the first true home I’d seen.

Month six came
and we mourned the passing
of the man my husband called dad.

In month nine we
shared an anniversary
where we mourned everything we once had.

Month twelve came
and I mourned the death
of my beloved brother and friend.

Month thirteen has arrived
and I’m tired, so tired,
of this mourning that just won’t end.

I’ve lost all perspective
on beauty and hope
and my dreams being held at bay.

But I give thanks for the love
standing strong by my side,
month after month, easing my pain.

Despite all the hard
and the endless tears,
one thing for sure I now know.

This mourning year
gave me one great gift.
The knowing that I am never alone.

Dear Grief

Dear Grief,
Please don’t take me
to the dungeons beneath your throne.
Don’t make me call your darkness
my new home.

love the warmth of sunlight,
scents of blossoming spring air.
I beg you let me find my
way back there.

make me your prisoner.
In your caves I cannot breathe.
My soul was meant to soar, please
set me free.

chain me by my ankle
and I’ll rest within the trees.
Let me think I’m free, even if it’s


I don’t want the kind of normal
in which you don’t exist.

I don’t want the kind of normal
in which all you’ll be is missed.

Don’t make me wake tomorrow
and accept you’ve truly gone.

Don’t ask of me all the good, right things
when your absence is so wrong.

I will not live in an upside down world
of fragile, broken glass.

Asking me to put back all the pieces
is just too much to ask.

I don’t want the kind of normal
where I wake and you’re not there.

That kind of normal isn’t normal at all.
This life is so unfair.

Two Lil Souls

Once upon a time there were two lil souls
sitting on the edge of a cloud.
The first one said, “Let’s have some fun! Let’s go!
Let’s play on the ground!”

The second one said, “I’m worried. I’m scared.”
The first replied, “I’ll keep you safe.”
The second one said, “I dunno. It looks hard.”
The first replied, “I’ll pave the way.”

So the first one jumped down and found a mother
and became a lil boy.
He laughed, he played, he skipped, he sang,
he amassed a mountain of toys.

“Come down,” he called to the second lil soul.
“Life is so great and grand!”
“I’m scared,” the soul said. “I love you,” the boy said,
“I promise I’ll hold your hand.”

The lil soul had faith in the brave lil boy
and decided to give life a whirl.
She leapt off the cloud to the Earth below
and was born a lil girl.

The boy taught the girl how to read and write
and ride a bike real well.
He taught her how to climb real big trees,
and wiped her tears when she fell.

As they got older he taught her to fight, not just stand
like a helpless lil doll.
When other boys started to look at the grown girl
big brother made all those boys crawl.

When big brother had two kids of his own,
sister knew he’d be a great dad.
He’d raised her like she was his child.
He was the best any kid could’ve had.

But then one day big brother got sick
and he went back up to the clouds.
“Where’d you go?” sister said. “Why did you leave?
You promised you’d be around.”

“We’re soulmates, lil sister,” he whispered from heaven.
“Now dry those silly tears.
I’m in the wind and the stars, and when you come back
to our cloud, I’ll be here.”

Dedicated to my beloved big brother, father-figure, and closest friend. May he rest in peace. 1973 – 2014.


How do you say sorry to the one who chose to hurt you
because your mere existence caused them pain?

Can you make amends with someone who you’ll never call a good friend
because your wrath is stronger than your shame?

My rage and guilt are sweethearts
holding hands beneath the black stars
of my soul beyond where any hope might shine.

I’ve long forgotten who did
what to whom, exactly why did
I assume that what was yours would soon be mine.

Let me say I’m sorry,
and I hate you, but I’m sorry
to despise you for just being who you are.

I’ll always deeply loathe you
but I must sincerely thank you
for the love your hate awakened in my heart.

How do you say sorry to the one who chose to hurt you
because your mere existence caused them pain?

We may never make amends, and we will never become friends
til we learn that you and I are one, the same.

Let Me

Let me hold you, wipe your tears
and press your heart close to mine.
Let me tell you it’ll be okay
even if it’s a lie.
Let me stop this storm from comin’,
or at least shelter you.
Let me soften the swift destruction
of the only peace you knew.

If I could cry your tears for you
I’d create another ocean.
If I could scream your screams for you
I’d tear the skies wide open.
If I could shatter into enough pieces
so that you wouldn’t have to
I’d outnumber this planet’s grains of sand;
the stars in the sky, too.

Let me mend your heartbreak,
be the haven where you rest.
Let me spend my life rebuilding
your broken, shattered nest.
If I can’t do any of those things,
or you think I can’t understand,
At least let me sit by your side
and gently hold your hand.

A Choice

Tell us what you see, they said …
These two men. Gorgeous. Sitting on my couch.
Talented beyond compare. Both of them
Asking to be seen through my eyes.
Tell us the truth, they said.

What do you see in me?

You, I said to one …
I could look into those eyes for hours and days.
I could kiss every line of your body, every crease of your muscled limbs.
I could break my heart over your beauty, the stunning debonair of your face.
I could wrap myself around you and cling to you,
spend nights
and nights
and nights and nights with you, lose myself in you
until I shattered in your embrace.

He laughed, blushing.

And that smile, I said …
Holds secrets in its dimples I’m desperate to learn.
I want to sit on the swings with you.
I want to play in the sand with you.
I want to run and laugh under the sun until all we can do
Is collapse into one another’s arms.
And then I’d want to do it again with you.

He smiled, his eyes sweet, and said …
(in that rich, polished accent)
You’re silly.

And that voice, I said …
I could listen to it every night,
every night, over and over,
telling me tales,
speaking sweet syllables of poetic sorcery.
I could drown in the luscious sound of you
And it would be a good and joyous death.

He said, as his dimples shined …
You really are a poet.

Sexy, that one
I thought to myself.

Now you, I said to the other …
He looked down, away, thinking, perhaps,
Himself not so handsome as the first.

I gulped my bourbon while he sipped his.

You, I said to the other …
I could lay beside you night after night,
Talking, giggling, listening to all your secrets,
All your thoughts, every hope and every dream.
I could lay beside you and explore your skin
With my hands,
First with just my fingertips,
Then my palms,
Then the whole of my hands,
both of them,
each of them,
one after the other,
night after blissful, endless night.

You, I said …
I could look into your eyes
And seek out every story that made them weep,
Every glimmer that sparked each laugh.
I could touch your lips and listen to every word they’ve been afraid to speak all your life,
Until you met me.

I could hold your hand through every fearful moment
And jump with joy in every extraordinary time.

I could watch the spotlight grow over you,
ever brighter,
and stand beside you to
cherish you,
celebrate you,
support you,
encourage you through all the hard,
laugh with you to fight the pain,
hold you up through all the exhaustion and all the shame.

You, I said …
You I could spend so many of my days with,
So many of my nights with,
So much of my life with.
You, I could love.

A tear slipped past his mouth as a smile curled his lips.

You, he said …
I already do.