113


this shadow
i thought i knew,
understood,
had made into
a friend

but i am lost,
lost in the darkness

it’s my little secret,
my escape,
my strength
and sorrow

these moments
seem endless,
without purpose
or meaning

but still
i reach,
try to put into words
the valley
my head
calls home
and my heart
calls safe

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112


smile, my dear

there’s so little time
in this world,
so few are these moments
we smile anymore

from this lonely heart
to yours, one day
we’ll find a place
where this darkness
breaks

though it’s gone now,
and we stumble and fall
and give up
what little hope
we have

imagine what i would give
for just one more smile,
for just one more chance
to touch your bruised
and battered heart,
again

111


nothing seen
beyond the here and now,
but i try

waiting,
hardly breathing,
knowing
this just can’t be

unable to run;
you know i try

unable to shake
the feeling
of nothing
but loss

god, how i try

110


by the by
  we see the ghosts
  of long-dead dreams,
  those we left behind,
  grew out of,
  were too afraid to follow

and all the while
  we shudder, wait
  for the moment to pass
  so we might be free
  to turn away once more

109


here and there
 we stumble, lurching
 from moment
 to blinding moment,
 caught up
 in the eternal
 now,

seeking refuge
 from our pasts

108


a little fire
to save this day
and the next,
if we’re lucky

ash,
charcoal black
and brittle,
from which might spring
once again
a life,
a life worth saving

through fire,
a life worth loving

107


it’s a simple thing,
a message.

a couple of phrases
here and there,
an emoji, maybe even a gif,
if we’re feeling generous.

sometimes there’s a purpose,
a mission…
we need something,
need to know about something,
want… something.

but the best ones
seem to just fall into our laps,
unwarranted,
never unwanted.

short, sweet,
reminding us
we’re on someone else’s mind,
part of their world,
that we matter,
they care.

those are the ones we wait for,
want for,
are willing to love for.

those…
those are the ones
we need like we need air to breathe.

they are the reason we keep going
or stop dead in our tracks.

they are love and joy and sadness and heartache
and hope
wrapped into neat little packets
that we spend hours thinking about writing,
fretting over,
and only occasionally regretting.

those are the ones though,
the very best ones,
and they usually begin with “hi.”