I promised not to,
But today I pick up the pen and draw memories with words,
Sounds in letters,
And the rare touch of hands in rhyme.
I walk in beauty,
Like the night,
And watch loves lost haunt dreams
Until I wake up, unsure of my choices and wishing for peace.
But my hair grows and the wind blows and ropes of crunchy leaves line the sidewalk.
I read poetry and write papers and calculate and calculate,
And every answer leads me further down this path,
a fork I have chosen and will not regret.
So this book of regret and spite and anger sits idle and I move around it,
Watch it collect dust.
It is finally time to wish it well,
And put the past away.
Today, my world is shaken.
Shots fired, police presence, evacuation.
Gunman still at large.
I think to myself, I pray for safety.
This place is so safe, now so shaken.
It’s blue laws,
And bridge and tunnel trips, forty five minutes for ten miles.
Rockland cars with their blue lisence plates choking up 17 to fill up.
Movies and frozen yogurt on Saturday nights.
I am born and raised,
All within minutes.
Tonight, as we pray, we hope, and we wonder-
I am scared, thankful, and so proud.
North Jersey, Bergen County, so close to Manhattan, so strong.
This is my home,
I am, was, and always,
Life has many faces.
Like coats in the wintertime,
Blurry and moving and colorful.
We forget, sometimes,
In the flurry of the tragic,
And the sad,
That happiness comes with the snowflakes,
As simple as a sweatshirt warm from the dryer,
A hug from a friend.
Life has many faces,
And in this circle,
We all smile.
I walk home,
Listening, singing softly, dancing along between the trees.
My combat boots line the ground,
My headphones stream from my hair like they are a part of me.
The night is cold and clear,
Some people come into my life to teach me lessons,
The hardest one being how to let go.
But I am not afraid to keep on living,
And I will never stop loving the sounds of the notes fading away.
I walk home,
And the afterglow seems so far behind me now,
A flame gone out, a part of my life that has passed.
I look to a future, and I might be alone,
But I am alive,
And no one can stop me from being fearless.
Life can be split two ways,
Like a willow.
I choose to be generous,
To be graceful,
To let the past be past.
Spring up my branches from whatever holds me down.