Ladybug

This ladybug
has been exploring my carpet
all morning and I don’t understand
why it doesn’t use its wings to fly to less
monotonous territory
instead of doggedly clambering
over every tuft,
intent only on its goal and seemingly
oblivious to the redundancy
of its actions- content to traverse its mini moonscape
in solitude, probably humming to itself
as it goes.

How to prepare for the Future:

Collect the pebbles of guilt
of resentment
of fear and loss and toss
them over your shoulder
let them scatter
behind you

exhale
consider the inevitability of failure
inhale
pull the warmth of motivation tight across your torso
take a step

sink trust into your bones
infuse your blood with devotion, introduce
humility to the echoes
of voices that vibrate softly at your core until
your own words rise
above the hum
ready to attempt, to risk, to ask and to insist.

 

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So What’ll it be?

I was going back through old journals last night and found a couple of lines I’d written- the first and last lines of this poem- and decided to see if I could write a poem from one line to the next. Here ’tis.

 

So What’ll it be?

Your place
or mine or the ocean
in between? What language
should we use? Which words would you
choose to have me declare
my devotion? See, that’s where
you must be confused
if you think I’d drop it all
to follow in your footsteps
when you can’t even decide
if you agree with those three
words. I think it’s time
we had a linguistics lesson- you
must be forgetting
your mother
tongue- the words your mother spoke
first, the words that carry
a world, that wove your life threads,
that hold you even
in solitude. This lesson isn’t free, but I know
you don’t like exchange
rates, so I’ll offer you a deal- you pay
what you want, but just so you know-
here’s the suggested
donation: your heart or
resignation.

 

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How to Wait in Line at the Southwest Counter for 4.5 Hours

plane

When the baby next to you starts

crying because he’s thirsty, when the girls

you recognize

from social work school are cursing

out the airline worker, when the boy with

dreads starts playing his

guitar and the man

behind you won’t stop telling you his life

story, when the people in front of you

share granola bars with a

stranger and the woman

who is a nurse scowls and

calls the whole predicament

disgraceful, remember

how your niece will hang

her arms around your

neck, how your sister-in-law will

grin, how your brothers will

pick you up

from the terminal in style

and deliver you

to your temporary home

for the week, how your sister

will have left you chocolate

on your pillow and how

in the morning

the sun will warm

this quiet room.