My mother says, “you sound happier on the phone than I’ve heard you in a long time,”
So I start to write a poem about joy,
But I falter,
Because happiness is best served in small words and in sunny days,
In coming home dirty and going to sleep content,
In cups of tea, in chocolate covered almonds,
In plans for the future and in the plants that line my windowsill, always stretching toward the light –
Today I am better than okay, and that is all right.
Life never stands quite still,
Yet change never comes in a day, an hour, a minute.
Change runs like the tide,
Rivers through rock, always winding,
Finding their way back home.
There is a power in moving slowly, in taking the time to carve canyons from the mountains,
The choice to continue to move with the motion instead of hold fast against.
One sunny day in April will not change the mountains I climb or the miles I have to go.
I can only choose to hold good days in my heart and string them together,
Let life be good when it is not perfect,
Expect from myself what I expect from my plants on my windowsill –
Sunshine, water, time, to grow.
I am afraid of crying
It could ruin my makeup and that is my war paint
My armor against the world
Today I am hungry on the L train
I have cried and hurt and been human this evening
My lipstick is smeared and my mascara must be lopsided
I am sure my eyeliner is approaching that place we call raccoon
But I will carry myself with honor
I will go home and I will water my plants because they never care if I am beautiful or vulnerable or strong
They only ask me to be kind to them once a week and give them a drink so they will grow
I am afraid of crying because it might tarnish my armor
Someday I will learn to stand tall in my own skin.
I watch the trees outside move in the breeze.
Their new blossoms flow lazy and smooth.
This month moves faster than I ever thought it could,
And for the first time I do not look into the mouth of that lion called change,
As May ushers itself in.
Life is long and short,
And springtime is here in all it’s glory before I’ve really bid winter goodbye.
I watch the very first blooms of bleeding hearts in the backyard sway in the wind.
They are me, beautiful in our imperfection.
Nighttime in Brooklyn
It is so easy,
To be lonely in this city.
At nighttime the windows light up,
Lives so colorful in a few buildings,
The Christmas lights,
The green wall.
It is peaceful to watch the curtains mute the lamplight.
It is calm to be one window in a city of millions.
I wonder if you can see my plants on the windowsill across the way.