“I understood how, when I left, I lost part of myself, but when I stayed I couldn’t stretch myself full’

-Ann Pancake in ‘Strange as this Weather Has Been”


Morning marriage

He says it is a conversation, this

war that rages in me

between the one who longs

to shed this skin, break free, emerge

as something new

and the one who needs to stay

connected to this branch

on which she’s grown.

They say you cannot force

a thing as beautiful as this

or it will not fly, but still

sometimes I wish for something tragic

to ease departure’s pain.


Today I saw

these angels on my shoulders,

each whispering their blessing, ‘Grow’

where once I imaged devils tempting me,

and I wondered, like a virgin, this implausibility

of joining what appears to be as incompatible as these

incessant voices tugging at my heels, that

great wedge of freedom in the sky.


The lion in the children’s story loves

the bird, yet sets it free

to find its true north home when spring

seduces with its song, his

love more potent than his heartache.

And I wonder,

Can this blossoming of mine be winged too?

Might I sink it deeply in that soil

for a season, let it bloom

where it is planted, drinking in the summer,

then cut it back to fit the pot,  

to gather sunlight through

the winter on the sill?


Can these two selves marry

Walking hand in hand

Each valuing the other

Not an either/or of land or sea

but a moving tide

Away and close

Apart, together

Trusting this is not rejection, but embrace.




Afternoon Love –  (after David Whyte)


This spring, which was hidden in her for so long

that even wanting to go look for it had gone,

is suddenly this well from which she drinks

thirstily, as if she hasn’t drunk for years

as she recalls the voice that sang before

she was driven underground


at last it was her weariness she listened to,

her heart, so long missing, refusing to go on,

(she’d simply had enough of drowning)

falling down, down  into the center of her longing

kneeling at last to drink


from that cool spring that sets her free,

this place of deep aliveness that

urges her to live her life as if she deserved

to love what she so fiercely loves

as if her life depended on her saying ‘yes’

to that fertile sea.







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