Sometimes, I do not know
how much pain
one human body can contain.

Sparrow, wood thrush, nuthatch, phoebe,
wren, titmouse, goldfinch, grosbeak,
hawk, hummingbird, woodpecker, bluebird.

Sometimes, I place my hand
over my heart, feel it beating,
soothe it, hold it, bless it.

Bluets, violets, forget-me-nots, daisies,
lilac, roses, geranium, pansies,
coneflower, iris, bloodroot, spirea.

Sometimes, I pause, follow my breath deeply,
crowd out all else but the movement of air,
and what is outside my window.

Lady bug, stink bug, preying mantis, wasp,
dragon fly, swallowtail, luna moth, ant,
katydid, grasshopper, cricket, gnat.

Sometimes, I let the tears flow,
knowing they will soon
come again.

Boxwood, barberry, holly, pieris,
lilac, baby’s breath, nandina, weigela,
rose-of-Sharon, butterfly, juniper, hydrangea.

Sometimes, I imagine what would have happened if,
if not, if only, if but, and then I realize it didn’t, won’t,
cannot, will never.

Shag bark hickory, walnut, white oak, locust,
kousa dogwood, redbud, willow,
white pine, poplar, ironwood, sumac.

I listen, look out the window, feel, taste, breathe,
know there is enough, plenty,
indulgent feast.

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As For Life

As for Life

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