Just seconds old, a baby noses his way
to his mother’s breast
the same way a butterfly knows
how to unearth a blossom.
A toddler only learns to walk
by feeling the many ways of falling.
The heart only knows wholeness
after heartbreak shatters one
into tiny pieces.
There are millions of paths
toward living and loving
but we need not anyone’s
compass other than our own.
Look what happens
when an acorn digs its way
into the earth and dives deep
despite what the starling
claims to know.
A madrone and an oak tangle
into one another until I cannot tell
where one ends and one begins.
I think of the ways my lover has
picked up on my traits, and me on his,
and even so, we carry our own behaviors
through decades of family past
and years together.
He helped me see my stubbornness
the way the hard shell of a madrone
projects it's tender places,
and I've shined light on the ways he clings
the way lichen and moss lean
on an oaks steady arm.
I pass these trees weeks on end
traversing the flank of the mountain.
I wonder what the land thinks
of their love, how they wrestle
with dependence and individuality.
Either way, whether blurred into
one another or separating back
into their roots,
it holds them just the same.
These days it’s hard to decipher where fauna ends
And where we begin. What was it that just adorned
My ear this morning? A dew drop or diamond?
My ears shimmer in storms while my lips
Are smeared with petals.
And your hand – was that the wild sage
That brushed against mine?
Your laugh, that crow overhead?
It’s hard to tell anymore in this overcast world.
Just this morning, while heading out
To walk the unpaved trail
I thought it was sunlight that was rising
Above the hills, but it was you.
Complete List of Modern Poetry Publications
Narrow Road, “Shiloh” (August 2017)
MothersAlwaysWrite, “Guidance” (February 2017)
MothersAlwaysWrite, “What You Pass On” (February 2017)
MothersAlwaysWrite, “A Thousand Births” (January 2017)
MothersAlwaysWrite, “Into Darkness” (January 2017)
Pyrta Journal, “We Soften” (December 2012)
Pyrta Journal, “Uncertain” (December 2012)
Yes! Poetry, “Uncertain” (October 2012)