I Don’t Know

I don’t know
upon what ground
your feet will fall
when I no longer walk by your side.

Fertile soil?
Shifting sands?
The crumbling concrete of a dying world trapped by its own misconceptions?

I don’t know
where the wind
will carry you
when I no longer hold your hand.

Gentle skies?
Blooming clouds?
Thunderous storms of lightning dancing to the sky-splitting clap clap clapping sounds?

This world,
my child,
this world
I cannot know,
not for sure.

I have no control
over the sand,
over the wind,
over the cruelty that will mark your soul, or
over the awe that will shake your bones.

I don’t know
what life you will live.

But I know you
were born to live it.

And I know how deeply
you are loved.


Birth of a Woman

When I was young
and a boy
broke my heart
for the very first time
I called my older brother
and begged him to come save me.

“Hurt him,” I said.

“Yell at him.”

“Beat him up.”

“Make him suffer the way I’m suffering now.”

My brother held my hands,
hugged me,
kissed my head,
wrapped me in his love
and said,

“You can handle this.”

“Whatever you need done,
you can do for yourself.”

“You don’t need me to save you.”

“You are strong.”

“You’re gonna be okay.”

“You’ll always be okay,
even if I’m not here.”

He was right.


Somewhere beneath
your guilt and regret
you changed.

Somewhere beyond
my bitterness and blame
I changed.

Somehow in a moment
of unburdened love
we changed

And made peace
on the battlefield
to which
for too long
we’ve been chained.

And I can breathe again.

The Good Life

Sweet kisses
Morning smiles
Belly laughs
Long walks
Holding hands
Honest words
Comfy silence
The warm sun
A cool breeze
The kind of rain that clears away anything darkening your soul

Most of all…

Trish and the Ladybug

When Trish was little she lived in a small house with her grandparents and her older brother, Nanny. In the backyard, Trish and Nanny’s grandfather grew strawberries. Rows and rows of strawberry plants stretched from the back sliding glass door to the high, brown wooden fence.

They were Trish’s first memories, those strawberries.

Trish would wander the garden, waddling on her chunky, toddler legs over uneven soil through the strawberry patches plucking the bright red berries with her clumsy hands. She would grab them, tug them off the magical green plants they grew on, and cram them into her voracious mouth, stuffing them in with her stubby little fingers.

In one such strawberry-related memory Trish recalled Nanny trying to trick her into eating a ladybug. He disguised it as a strawberry.

His fingers snuck the ladybug into Trish’s mouth, but she bit down in an effort to stop him. She told the story over and over, a hundred times through her teenage and young adult years, of her older brother’s cruel treachery. Not until her mid-twenties did she finally muster the courage to confront him.

“You tried to make me eat a ladybug! Do you remember that?!” she asked, feigning disbelief. In truth, her older brother was just crazy enough to do it.

“What are you talking about?!?!” Nanny replied. “I was trying to STOP you! You were trying to eat it and I was trying to save the ladybug from you!”

“Oh,” she replied.

Strawberries were never the same again.


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, brokenΒ glass.

Asking me toΒ 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.

All Grown Up

How long did I long to please you?
But my wounds were never your blame.
It was the sins of the mother
on the mother
on the mother
’til the daughter became the slave.

How many days did I wake without you?
To a home devoid of care.
No arms to welcome me
No ears to hear me
No signs you had ever been there.

How long did you struggle with hating me?
For binding you to the man who
Forced upon you a child
The fetus inside
Who survived past the drugs you consumed.

How long will I live to mourn you?
And the life you and I’ll never see.
You hearing my fears
You sharing my tears
Meeting the woman I’m meant to be.

When did I grow up without you?
I’m leaving you behind, I know.
But your name is not mine
My heart is divine
And the light in my eyes is my own.