In the Middle of the Mud

mud

I spent years at the edge.

I paraded with my picket sign

to demonstrate my disdain for the dregs,

lobbied for others to clean up their act,

slung my share of dirt

in the hopes that none of it would come home to me.

I washed my hands of it.

But you –

you put on your rubber boots

and slogged into the middle of your mess

and made mud pies.

You got up to your elbows in it

and your laughter sang

and your eyes widened at the wonder of it all

and I dared to hope

that maybe here,

in the middle of the mud,

there might be something real.

Something that smelled of soil

and germination,

rain and sunshine woven

into a thing of beauty.

Your laughter is gone, now –

but I bought a new pair of boots

and I’m hungry.

I’m hungry for

mud pies…

When Strangers Ask

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She’s more than a morning coffee

drinker, more than her function as

office confidante, more yet than

the colour of her eyes or skin.

.

Birth stones and birth order and birth

marks are but petals to her rose,

characteristics folded deep,

convoluted lines and colours

which add or detract from beauty.

.

Shoe size and predisposition

to diabetes, scars hammered

in where wobbly knees met gravel,

violin lessons on rainy

afternoons, the desire to dance –

ruffled layers all, a goldfinch

singing from hidden willow perch.

 .

I see her there, can count petals,

classify by botanical

name – yet, in calculating sums,

have I arrived at her spirit?

.

Do I know where she goes at night

when skeletal remains escape

closeted fears, or of whom she

dreams when her conversation flags,

eyes traversing galaxies hung

somewhere behind my left shoulder?

.

Fingers cannot touch the places

she’s been, nor trace the subtle curves

where geological process

has altered her surface features.

.

I see her there, can count petals,

compare tints to a hardware store

strip, watch as they shift before

sun and shadow – and when strangers

ask if I know her, I say no.

 

A Peel Like Yours

peonyshadow.jpg

 

A peel like yours

leaves nothing to the

imagination. It reveals

your soul-shape,

what you wear

under your game face

on market day. My

heart sees underneath,

to the freshly squeezed

fruit, the way you

drip with flavour

and leach nutrition

and satisfy my

thirst for

transparency.

 

 

Old Friend

buriedbench.jpg

Old friend,

I haven’t seen you for so long.

You have hidden yourself away,

a self-imposed hiatus.

Do you not hear the call?

The Sun woos once again;

it is time to take up your burden

and enter the land of the living.

Worth Your Weight in Gold

corntassels

Golden when the sky is blue,

Golden words to keep heart true,

Golden  actions surely prove

you’re worth your weight in gold.

Golden touch when wounds are raw,

Golden lines to tether flaws,

Golden brush where mercy draws,

you’re worth your weight in gold.

Snowflakes

snowflakemacro

Snowflakes soft as satin

swear solidarity,

a friendship forged on

likeness,

similarity,

hands which grip

relationship

with intent.

None are rejected

based on colour,

shape,

size;

all fall equally

under the siren-call of

gravity.

All strike earth

with a

whisper.