Mountain: 1

I will go and climb a mountain. 
Find the trail and walk up
and up, breathe in, breathe out.
One more step and one more
step and I am so very tired.
So very tired,
but it is another mountain which has
knocked me to my knees.
Still I climb but oh how it hurts -
what might have been and what really was!
Who can capture this?
What writer has words for it -
what sculptor can mold his clay and say to me,
“Behold your pain!”
I cannot.
But you know, “I look to the hills . . .”
So many rocks and boulders.
So many mountains around me
and wind and sun.
God may I not stay here?
Please let me stay here and let
the sun shine always.
It is just You and me here,
and I do not want to go back
to that valley.

Where Dreams are Born

During night shift at three a.m., watching a life flight helicopter land.

Perhaps this is where dreams
    are born -
this land of night where all
    is dark
and the only beings with the audacity
    to shine
are these city lights, sparkling, 
    ever hopeful -
until the sun has the courage
    to rise.

Still You Grow

And still you grow,
a flower in this forgotten ground
between I-75 and the on-ramp.
What kind of flower are you, anyway?
Most would label you a weed, and move on.
I noticed you only because of this stupid
traffic. “Crash: 4 miles ahead” announced the sign -
“Expect delays.”
You . . . well you’re not going anywhere.
Nobody would think of transplanting you.
In this parched, polluted soil, you are
an invisible wonder in plain sight
as the whole world passes you by -
and I would have too.
But still you grow.
Still you bloom
in this forgotten patch of earth,
yet remembered by God.

Come and See

You think that I am not smiling, but you have not seen my heart – I do not think I have ever been more content than when on this, my trail. Do not call me back to that city – do not ever dare to bring it with you, even as you chase after to talk me out of my melancholy. Useless words! Stop this mindless chatter. If you consider yourself open-minded and truly courageous, there is room for us to walk together. So walk with me – but bring your own shoes. For though we may pass over the same stones, though we take hold of the same young saplings to steady us over this uneven path, do not imagine that you will learn to dissect and reassemble me like a pocket watch with so many parts. Indeed, you will have barely begun to discover the breathtaking beauty of your own wilderness as we walk hand in hand along this, our trail.

An Unfinished Bridge

Your hand stretched
out to steady me - an offer of safety
over this unfinished bridge.

Two hands
one calloused, one not -
and the stream is crossed.

Yet I wonder
how long did I really
have to consider the price
of placing my hand in yours
before “hesitation”
you interpret as “rejection.”

Such moments are dripping
with perspiration, poignant
with ancient history and unpredictable
I tremble at each revelation
of kindness – who are you?
Who am I?
Who are we?

I live spinning
in circles and the only thing
more disorienting than starting
is stopping – standing still, or
at least trying to.

And here - your hand
stretched out, to steady me
over this unfinished bridge.

Of all the things you might have done!

What They Should Know About Me

… Oh sure. I know what they think they know – quiet mouse, scared of her own shadow. I’ve listened to them for so long sometimes I forget that those beliefs are ones that I accepted –  I did not create them. So what can I tell you? I’ve heard you ask others, “Does she even talk?” As if you thought I was deaf as well as mute. Ha! Can she talk – must be the joke of the decade. I have so many thoughts running through my mind, that sometimes I think I’ll explode. Yes, I talk. Paper is my mouth and this pen is my tongue. Do you not hear me? Can you not read? I do speak – just listen. I am shouting, silently.