Saturday, November 26, 2005


i am afraid
to let you
go from my
for i may
never hold
you again.
i am afraid
to let you
go beyond the
sound of a
for you may
never speak
with me again.
i am afraid.
hold me
return to
me again
i am afraid.

i have begun to realize how fragile life is. we are not guaranteed the next breath. nor the next embrace. while we can't live our lives in fear, i find it utterly human to admit the simple anguish of being temporal. mortal. finite.

Friday, November 25, 2005


i sit tonight
and wait
for your response
to my honesty
was it a wound
or a festering
boil lanced
was it a grief
or joy to hear
and does it matter
that i sit
waiting for your
answer to my
for even if you
lash out and rail
i welcome it
my friend
as i welcome
you and all
your honesty.

Sunday, November 20, 2005


recently, when reading about the conquistadors, my girl came across the line
and they killed many indians.

she said
can i cross that out?

she was troubled. deeply troubled. this was the first time this realization has hit her this way. when i told her dad about it, he said

i've talked to her about it before.

but there she sat, furrowed brow, waiting for permission to strike through the truth.

sure baby, it doesn't change the fact that it is true though.

i know. i'll erase it when i am finished reading.

how does one convey the truth of history to children? disney glosses over many details making the stories "fun" in a sense, this is for marketability i'm sure. being uninclined toward marketability, i find the messy truth something we must work through.

i've bypassed difficulties my entire life because i never learned how to go through the pain. to experience it. to glean wisdom and compassion from it.

but seeing the pained expression on my dear child is not something i know how to deal with. and we've only just begun. she's doesn't even know about the blankets, the wars, the massacres. what then?

where do i find the words and wisdom for dealing with this?

in the jewish tradition, they retell the stories of their past ceremonially, yearly. tasting the bitter herbs.

i guess it is time for us to find some parallel tradition for our stories.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

winged grace

i recently said, butterflies are like grace.

yesterday, troubled in thought, i plunged into fulfilling duties.

sitting in traffic after picking up precious cargo, i noticed a monarch swirl around the back of the car in front of me. it flittered, not in a purposeful way, but more like it was adrift.

i watched it land on the strip of weedy grasses springing up on the median.

when our truck nudged gently forward, i put the car in park and grabbed the monarch. it did not resist.

i have picked up dying butterflies before. they are strangely passive. this one was listing. his tiny black legs seemed to be buckling under the weight of immense wings. his abdomen rested on the armrest.

i could not let him die alone, as it were. so i put him on my shirt.

i arrived to lead the meeting with a monarch basking on my chest.

the meeting was work. teaching girls to fold and unfold a flag. the bulk of them under seven. but i had tangible grace with me.

it flew across the room once, and i retrieved it and set it upon my shirt again. there it stayed until we gave it sugar water, which it drank and perked up a bit.

there were moments when the butterfly would close its wings and the only movement was a slightly twitching leg. i was certain it had passed into shadow. but it had not. it perked up again.

grace stayed with me all the way home and before i entered it flew away. to die in beauty.

it is not often one spends three hours with a monarch. i think the girls will have this peculiar memory of me, and that pleases me more than anything.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


for jim

come close to me
let me wound you
and i will let you
wound me
the blood let
by the hand of kindness
is healing to the bones
salvation to the soul
come close to me
and i will wound you
as you will wound me

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

tonight i cry

let me cry tonight
weep and mourn
wail and rage
at the way
history is
told by the
victims lie
silent and still
trying to get away
from the pain of remembering
let me weep and mourn tonight
for i have heard an echo
in this darkness
i am not alone
let me wail and rage
for the pain that stirs
with this retelling
righting wrongs
unknown to many
giving voice
to those
who cannot speak
for themselves.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

step down

you have the power
of position over me
step down
and be my friend.

you have the wisdom
of years i lack
step down
and be my friend.

you have the grace
of heartache healed
step down
and be my friend.

you have the earned significance
rightly due your name
step down
and be my friend.

i do not want to belittle anyone. to make them less than they are. but there are times when we can only relate to one another on level ground. not looking up or looking down, but looking eye to eye. walking side by side. this is all i ask, this is all i pray. step down and be my friend.

Friday, November 04, 2005

the man got me

i was so ticked off at my husband recently, i forgot to set my cruise control.

before the advent of cruise control (or my desire to use it, probably the latter), i got tickets on a regular basis. monthly. if not weekly. i was a scary driver.

my hubby came home with a ticket and i laughed. he has never gotten a ticket (i think that is what he's said, although i've seen him get pulled over twice and both times let off with warnings. i never get warnings, i get tickets. well, i've gotten a few warnings when i was young and possessed a firm body).

so he gets a ticket and i'm gloating because it has been literally six years since my last ticket--thanks to cruise control and a daughter who sits in the back seat,
mom you're speeding. slow down.
God bless back seat drivers. she sits in the middle seat so she can glimpse the speedometer. i also have her on the lookout for speed limit signs as i blaze past them and often miss what they say (details, life is in the details). she yells out,
45 mom. slow down!
and i do. at least i try.

so i was coming home after seeing proof with gwyneth paltrow (i saw it with a friend, but gwyneth was in the movie you understand).

my mind on a comment my hubby made. i round a particularly curvy corner and have audio slave blasting. spot the man. i'd forgotten to set my cruise control.

of course instinctively i let my foot off the gas, but he claims to have gotten me. and i have learned you can't argue with the man. i have tried. it doesn't turn out too good.

so i drag myself in the house after peeling out from getting a ticket (wisdom emanates from me when i'm angry). and tell my hubby, i got a ticket.

where? told him the whole story and now i've got to blow six hours of reading time. of my life on traffic school. i'm going to the comedy course, so hopefully it will be marginally funny. but i still have to watch the videos and take the tests. sigh. the closest thing i get to school is traffic school.