The Mountain You Climb

This is what it means to be a woman:

I can climb the mountain you climb.

I can climb the mountain you climb while bleeding—

While cotton catches life force between my legs.

This life drains from me and I sense the caverns inside

Where more life was made and has also left, 

The places that will always be hollow because 

The two children

Skipping along behind us

Were carved out of my body.

These voids ache as the babies’ toes inch

Toward the cliff for a better view,

Shooting pains like

I’m being scooped out all over again.

This is my strength:

To climb the mountain you climb.

While bleeding.

While some of my pieces run freely,

With minds of their own,

Dreams of their own—

Minds and dreams they took from my flesh.

This is what it means to be a mother:

To climb the mountain

While bleeding;

And to let them climb.

Flesh of my flesh,

I am whole only on the outside,

With my pieces alive before my eyes!

I am no longer whole on the inside;

But I can still climb the mountain you climb,

The mountain you climb with a body 

That doesn’t bleed

But gets stronger with age and discipline.

I pass another mother on the trail.

Little pieces of her flesh are running up ahead of her,

Pointing their fingers,

Leading a dog on a leash.

Our eyes meet;

We say nothing.

But she has already climbed the mountain you climb.

I can climb the mountain you climb.

Only she and I know what this means.

Don't Shrink

You want me to squeeze into lines drawn for a child?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
As if I could chisel away this womanhood I have earned!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
As if I would erase the power of this body—⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The power to grow another body,⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The strength to take two breaths, ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
to beat two hearts, ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
to nourish two souls,⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
To do this again and again, if it is blessed and I choose!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Earning stripes and inches every time I prove this small piece of divinity, marks of my might;⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
No wonder you tell me I must be smaller than I am. ⠀⠀⠀


An ode to summer,

Which I’ve never done,

Since it usually feels like the heat drags on 

Until it’s dried me up.


But this year, 

After a true spring—

After a season of hopefulness put back to sleep

Again and again with an unforeseen


Or the tease

Of endless rains, watering thirst 

Beyond need to burst

And watching for colors and waiting for smells

To explode and signal

Something new—

Now that all that has passed

And the sun is here to stay,

And the green is enduring,

And everything is illuminated in unmistakable, longstanding light,

I’ve felt my heart shift to what others have sung songs of.


I see it for what it really is:

Not a season,

It’s a feeling.


I bask in thick, sweaty nostalgia

While the sun bakes me

And the earth


I relish the salt and the dew

On my skin

And admire the tan lines on my daughters’ feet

While I think of those summer love songs,

And feel bound to humanity,

Wondering what springs those poets endured

Thinking the winter had ended 

But there was still so much time

To wait.

He Can

What's your life been like

Since you started tossing pebbles

At her window?


What's her life been like

Since she's not the first one

To see your show?


She looks mad

And the world's just

Out to get her.


You're always mad

And there's nothing

Left for you anymore.


And what's my life been like

Since that complicated

Summer of seventeen?

What's my life been like

Since you suddenly

Turned so mean?


What I thought you showed me,

You didn't.

What I though love was,

Well, it isn't.


And what you tried to give me but simply couldn't--

He can.

Groups I'm Not In

Who writes all these unwritten rules?

Who whispers what's unspoken?

How do they all thrive

With their ears to ground?


They're out there waging wars with their eyes.

It's them who say so much with just a hand.

And here are we, bursting from the inside,

Grappling for words, smiles that say how we feel.


I stood outside, face pressed on the glass.

They let me in, drawing me, like a moth to flame.

The heat was suffocating, and I knew I couldn't stand it;

But as I flew free, I sensed it still was the death of me.


I need to feel like the creator of music did--

Thrill and depth and life all twirled up in rhapsody.

Because for him with melody and words locked inside,

He's fully able to set his soul free.


I won't and can't live in your hellish house.

I can't soar on notes lifted by wings.

Where and how can I live in between?

Where is the spot for me?


Follow me to where the fog rolls thick

Through the aged and gnarled oak trees

From their branches we'll swing on childhood's last threads

Blown by a chilled and prophetic breeze

Mint Green Walls

She said,

"If we go there, would you buy my a cottage with lots of trees?

And lots of windows to let in sun and breeze?


"Could I paint the walls a shade of mint,

And get vintage furniture in the darkest tint?


"Maybe we could line our shelves with saucers and cups?

Get a fence out back for a couple more pups?


"In the summer, could we go on picnics and walks?

In the winter be cozy and have fireside talks?


"I'd be a little sad to leave the place we're in now;

Even though it's scary, wouldn't we make it somehow?


"And our love wouldn't change,

So we'd be the same,

Just in a different place with a different name?


"Couldn't we make our own little fairy land?"


He smiled and said, "Yes."


The darkness of night is so vibrant,

bouncing with creative energy.


The darkness of the morning is eery,

burning with shadows that reek

of a lingering, the lurking eve before it.


The freshness of a new day comes not with the clock's mandate,

but rather the sun.


I live in the night,

breathing in the dark chocolate richness of midnight air.

It makes me alive.


I used to sit and wait,

anticipating the wee hours and the clarity they bring.

Past midnight lies new focus.

Past midnight are answers.

To past midnight my meandering but seeking mind must journey for truth.


But the world thinks it is morning that holds knowledge,

its dewy air saturated with the buzz of the day.

That is only the sun.


In the morning darkness I only hear whispers of secrets told hours before,

the hours that defy what the clock says

and call themselves


It's Not You, It's Me

Because that's what I want to do

And that's what I want to pursue

Not that I'm responsible to you

I just thought it better you knew




This is the real inside me

And the real outside who I want to be

Not that I ever expect you to see

But saying so makes me feel free


I'll show the things I want to show

Go to places I want to go

Not do things because you say so

I was already doing it, but now you know

Two and Three is We

To all the places we used to go

And everything we did

It was you and it was me


In our adventure world

No one else allowed

Because all we needed was we


In we, our dreams blossomed

And in we, they came true

Perfection was found in me and you


And I never feared the

End to our perfect union

For what could separate the two

Then as sure as I was happy

There came a sudden change

The pair we were became three

An intruder threatening

The game we played

To part the you and me


But then I felt the life within

Your cheek against me felt it too

I saw that two plus one remained we

Because our precious little three

Was a part of you and a part of me


If time stops when the world ends

And beyond that is immeasurable,

Then you're mine for all time, my dear,

The greatest gift imaginable.


If time goes until the end

And after that is infinity,

I'll cherish the seconds until forever begins

Knowing that you're forever with me.


Today my faith has come up dry,

My mind plagued with questions why

Since you care for the sparrows' needs

You've not answered my desperate plea?

And why if you know the hairs on my head

You still ignored all that good I did?

Because, though I know there's no formula for us,

In my heart of hearts, I did so trust

That the words in Your Word were true;

And if I simply asked of you--

You'd hold up your end of the bargain.

And if I'd know all of this then,

Trusted in my humanness instead,

What would look different?

17 Weeks

And so we forge humanity on

In expanding bellies and super human feats

In dried and tried emotions

In pain and joy


We bring forth what is new in the world

What is right in the world

What is pure in the world

We make things new


At times the price is great

The prize is always greater



Than anything we could imagine


In our highest calling

In all our physicality

In our emotionality

In our psychology

We are granted the privilege

To participate with Him

And then sit back and watch what we made grow

Make a difference in the world


Make a difference in us


This is what I think of you

And your tender, gorgeous soul

That you count yourself too short

Of what really is your whole


Words fall flat in times like this

(I know, I've felt the same)

But when all the world has let you down

Don't forget he knows your name


It's a name he gave to only you

His daughter imprinted on his hand

He has counted all your hairs and steps

So that they're equal to his plan


He feels for you as I do

(As only your soul's real lovers could)

Recklessly surrender to right now

He makes things happen when they should


Now is not the time to idle

Risking questioning your worth

His time spans past when we can see

Immeasurable on earth


You have purpose beyond your wildest dreams

More than one person can define

We are cheering and eagerly awaiting

The works of your hands, heart, and mind


Rise up now and open your eyes

To the you, you really are

The beautiful girl with the golden soul

Untouched by what could have scarred


Rolling in and away

Somewhere and nowhere

Here is the start of a day

That's already ending somewhere


Each wave a beginning sounds

And an ending leaving too

The perpetual tide of this life of ours

Swirled in endless blue


The ocean spoke

We were mystified

And we were misty eyed

We were on the edge of something


Who am I but a soul in dust

Driven by love and wanderlust

Drenched in hope and need for grace

Flinging dreams into outer space


Something about certain melancholies

Their accompanying productivities

Like composing songs upon black keys

Sickly sweet minor symphonies


Something about how my life has changed

And how those songs get in the way

When I just want to live day-to-day 

Without being a muse's slave


Something about a happy song

A tune that makes me feel strong

One that others can sing-along

So we aren't hung up on what is wrong


Something about a day that's bright

Not fully wrung of its might

Not concerned with being right

Composed upon the pretty white


Leaves my heart feeling light