And Then

She had wandered

a lifetime,

could not recall

her place of


if it had ever existed

at all…

She made her way

through the undergrowth

in a world

she did not

recognize as hers,

except for fleeting


when light would break

through the canopy

above her,

warming her

and gilding her heart

and eyes

with┬áthe gold of it…

Even as it dimmed

and flickered


she dreamed of


up and into it

never to be cold

or alone

or lost again…

But she could not see

a way up

and late at night

she wept in her dreams

and opened her eyes

every morning

to the wildflowers

that sprang up

in the darkness

while she slept…

It was hope

she gathered to her ~

the vivid colors,

velvet textures and

sacred scents

that come from everything


from the center of

the heart…

It was courage

she carried with her

feeding it from

faintly remembered


of what she had once


as a child…

And it seemed,

to those who watched her

from the edges,

that she would sink

into the quicksands

hidden there,

or falter when the path

ended in a wall

of stone…

But she lifted her face

to the light she


pressed herself against

the wall and began

to climb.


A Certain Sorrow

Where is the hardship

in showing respect

to each other?

What is it

that is difficult

in leaving another

with their dignity?

What idiocy

feeds the ego and leaves

our humanity


building walls,

burning bridges

of understanding

while we rot in our own


Why is it more


to reach out and offer


or tolerance for

the flaws

we all carry?

Why do we long

to be understood and


while giving it

in stingy little portions

cheating both

the giver and receiver?

We talk of great love

and give it not.

We speak of

golden dreams and

do nothing

to risk breathing life

into them.

We talk of how the world

should be, and isn’t

while we are not

who we are.

We lament passionately

the state of the world

we perpetuate

with our own falseness,

beating our chests

in grief

and loneliness

as we hide ourselves

from all we

long for.



Miss Molly has trouble walking and Lord Murphy has difficulty breathing. Allergic bronchitis it is called. My husband let me get both of them as puppies when our son went into the Marine Corp to give me something more to love. I listen to him and watch her and my heart shudders at what I know will happen someday. Someday, but not yet.

Their love saves me sometimes.

It makes me recall other reminders of life and loss, me on the floor next to my pup Phoenix 10 years ago as she breathed her last breaths with me stroking her and looking into her beautiful eyes telling her it was okay and I loved her, over and over until she was gone.

She taught me not to waste the moments.

My Ruger being hit by a passing truck and me jumping into traffic and covering him as the blood flowed with such finality underneath him. I remember the woman and her son who stopped traffic for me. I remember standing in my kitchen alone and screaming until I was hoarse before I could pick up the phone and ask my husband to come home.

He taught me what joyous living looked like.

They day I flipped my car coming back from lunch, hearing the shouting and the pounding of running feet and the look on the man’s face when he peeled back the windshield and saw me standing there with just a tiny scratch on my face.

I learned that sometimes humans mistakenly value possessions over people.

Even further back to the hospital stay when my internal organs began shutting down and the pain of it taught me that the quality of life was more important than its length, then my father-in-law dying a year after my husband and I split and me sitting with him one night about midnight while his son slept nearby. I remember him smiling and talking in his sleep. He was a hard-working provider for his family. I remember crying that night for the dreams that made him smile.

I should have learned then not to give up living to make one.

I have been chased by dreams myself lately. I heard a story that keeps following me into the dark hours and won’t let go. It horrified me to hear it and now it’s a nightmare I’ve been having every few nights. Instead of being surrounded on my deathbed by my loved ones, I am surrounded by the things I didn’t do. They are people in my dreams, but I know each of them. I know what they are, and they are angry and bitter at my cowardice.

They are furious that they are dying with me.

The places I haven’t been, the people I haven’t helped yet, the love I haven’t spoken well enough, the words I haven’t written and the chances I haven’t taken. All of them staring at me in accusation, despair and …pity. It’s more than I can take, even sleeping.

I wake up sweating, but cold. It’s 3am and there will be no more rest. My heart is pumping and my hands shake as I sit on the floor by my bed and the pups comfort me, Molly putting her sweet head in my lap and Murph doing his Darth imitation in my face between licks of comfort.

We’re here now. We love you. Don’t be afraid.

If only we were that wise.



You are extraordinary,

there is nothing


about you.

You are flawed,



and no one else

could bring to us

the gifts you


Your voice

is like no other,

your words

create worlds that

could not exist

without you.

Your heart holds

the creation

of all you were meant

to be.

You are not a mistake

you are a


You are one chance

in millions

for us to get it


You are our


our comfort,

the courage to face

our future

with eyes of fire,

acts of


and lives of legend.

You are not


you are the magic


in our world.

Live the miracle

of you.


What is Real

I will remember


as day meets night,

each dusk and dawn

both sides of my


face to face

on bended knee

in gratitude.

I will remember

what betrayal feels like

and those who loved

and rose behind me

like an army.

I will remember

loneliness and its dangers

and value those

I hold now

who give their voice

their hand, heart and time.

I will remember

the moments

where there was only

one degree

of separation between

death and life

and the sacred knowledge

that still

I lived.

I will remember


the feeling of invisibility

as I appreciate

those who see me

and call me their own.

I will remember

the breaths that labored

loving me

with their eyes

as I let them go,

and I will remember,

I will always remember

what love looks like

when it’s