Legacy

Once, you made a promise to a lonely man. 

You took him out into the twilight, 

And lifted his eyes to the swirling crush of galaxies. 

“Your children will outnumber the stars.”

His gaze swept the heavens-

Multitude pinpricks of light-

Until his eyes were filled with starlight and grateful tears. 

I stand beneath that same darkened sky, 

But the stars aren’t so visible anymore,

Overcome by lights of our own design. 

The promise is dim. 

One star burns above, alone, 

And I wonder if this might be 

My legacy. 

Open Book

You wanted me to be an open book to you 

You wanted me to lay bare my pages for your perusal 

To be picked up and casually browsed

Book-marked and dog-eared

And in the end you were angry

That I was difficult, inaccessible

I’m not saying I’m a masterpiece

I’m no Hemingway or Steinbeck

But I can tell you this:

I’m not a synopsis

Not a CliffsNotes guide

No eighth grade reading level novella

I am difficult to grasp

Impossible to master

My words are fluid

My meter erratic

My lyric baffling

I am a mystery even to myself

And a hundred readings will not

Make me anything less

NPM: The Naming of Things

The naming of things

is the chief aim of writing

To articulate the ineffable

feelings and thoughts of the secret soul

To gaze into the inscrutable workings

of the mind and heart

and to describe whatever is detected there

This is the essence of expression

The “why” behind the struggle

to put pen to paper

even when the words don’t flow easily

To put a name to something nameless

so I know what to call myself

NPM: Many Coats

What I love about writing 

Is that I can put on personas like coats

Pull one on and I am a mother

Running her fingers through the

Downy curls of her sleeping child’s head

Heart aching with joy and nostalgia 
 

Turn the coat inside out and

I am a lover, awe-struck with the beauty

Of knowing and being known

Longing for one instant to stretch

Into eternity, so that I never have to leave

This perfect moment, this gorgeous life
 

Shuck off the coat again and try another

I am a battle-weary soldier

Looking out over what War has wrought

And wondering what I was fighting for

Where did it go?
 

Another– I am a hero

Glorious in my self-sacrifice

Blazing like a nova

In the final moments 

Of my existence

My heart full and tender

Love’s name on my dying lips
 

But when I take off the coats

I am none of these

It is just a charade

And yet

Surely there must be something in me

Something real

That lets me feel these things

That speaks to my spirit

And whispers, “Yes, this is true!”

Perhaps I am all of these

And more