NPM: Of Queens and Marigolds

We bought four small marigolds 

Yellow heads held proudly high

Regal splashes of rich color

To stand as sentinels at our door

Before we could plant them

Some creature snuck up

And chewed through the stem of 

the tallest, fullest bloom

Its golden crown toppled

Death by guillotine or squirrel

Instead of throwing it away

I brought the flower inside

And put it in a cup of water

It floats there now

Reborn as a water lily

Vibrant as ever

While its stripped greenery remains outside

Soaking up the sun and

Working up the strength 

To send forth another golden bloom

A monarch returned from exile

NPM: Birds Fly Away

Even if Death does not steal those you love, 

Time does.

Time slowly inserts wedges between lives,

Driving people further apart

Almost imperceptibly.

Time deadens the ache you feel for friends.

It numbs the pain of missing them.

Time gives you certain experiences

That are not shared with those far away.

Time hands you moment after moment

Until your hands are overflowing with seconds,

So that you must drop some memories, cut some ties,

To hold them all.

But that is just the nature of time-

It moves ever on.

So do people.

One by one, birds fly away.

It is not in their nature to stay.

NPM: I Do Not Think of You

I do not think about you from time to time
and wonder how you’ve been.
I do not ponder if your broken heart has healed,
and if you’ve found love.
I do not feel a pang at that thought,
nor do I feel an accompanying sense of relief.
I do not worry about the path you’ve taken
or hope for your safe return home.
I don’t see your face in my dreams
or consider what your family must think
or replay any of our memories in my mind.
Clearly, you see, I do not think of you at all.

A Winter of Loss

When you lose someone,

Your grief winds around you like a heavy scarf.

The weight of it tightens your throat and deadens your words.

It muffles the sounds of people passing on the street,

The sounds of laughter, or cars driving by,

Or the concerned and hesitant inquiries

Of friends. It all sounds the same.

Pain— an endless horizon of blank white snow.

You trudge numbly through the drifts,

The monotony interrupted only

by bright pin-pricks of agony:

Drops of crimson blood, blossoming stark against the snow.

Lost in the blizzard, you think the world has ended.

But no, the world has not stopped, has not paused.

Does not wait on your pain.

Does not see your tears or hear your whimpers in the dark.

The world moves indifferently on.

Only your world ground to halt, stopped spinning on its axis.

Only your sun flared and died.

Only you walk in a twilight winter of loss,

While those around you feel the warm breath of spring.

And that is perhaps the worst betrayal of all.

NPWM Day 1: Infinite

You and I are infinite

How many times

How many lives

Have we locked eyes

and known

 

Iterations

Variables

Nothing constant but

your hand over my heart and

my head tucked under your chin

 

Worlds upon worlds

Have witnessed our story unfold

Never the same twice

I lost you

I saved you

I hated you

I loved you

But in all, I knew you

And you knew me

And that is everything

That is infinite

How Does A Heart Break?

 

How does a heart break?

Is it a glass falling to the ground?

A scatter of shards and

the irredeemable sound

of fractures, too many to repair?

Is it sudden, complete?

Is one left standing

in the circle of glittering pieces

staring at the refracted light,

trembling hands empty, and empty inside?

 

How does a heart break?

Is it the slow shifting of a fault-line,

a grinding pressure, a bit at a time?

Does it compress and harden

under all the weight?

Collapse in on itself, until a great

seismic shudder of energy

surges and presses out

and throws everything around

into chaos?

 

How does a heart break?

Is it a stone in a river,

silent and still?

Letting the persistent waters of grief

wash over it, years upon years,

until the river’s tears

have worn away any definition

and it is smooth and unresisting?

Little by little, day by day,

does it give itself away

so there’s nothing left to take anymore?

So it can’t be robbed

by the constant throb

of pain or loss or longing?

 

How does a heart break?

Is it a glass, a quake, a stone?

Does your heart feel these things?

I know only my own.