Gilead

Where is the promised balm
to soothe the tender lonely parts
pieces dispossessed
the wounded wandering?

When you uncover it
or take it from a hand outstretched
are you brave enough to apply it
or will you leave its magic tightly sealed?

Tell

I want to tell the truth
This would require first
that I know it

There are so many ways
I have learned not to look
into my own face
nor hear my words
as they tumble
I know the sound of your heels
more than my own limping step

I want to know the truth
This will require first
that I live it

Less

I become less to be(come) more
search each corner for the dispensable

For now my quest for order is
notable, not yet diagnosable

I long for the moment when
like a red balloon gently tethered

The grasp is released and 
I float skyward

Mothers

This morning I braced myself
and hugged and kissed you
right there in public

You let me do it
even though you usually cringe
because, well, mothers
and the anticipation
of long hours and distances
springing up between us

You cracked jokes:
laughter easier
than a trembling lip

Oz

He talked about the
People Who Actually Matter
I tried to grasp his meaning

Because I thought we all mattered
or, more accurately
matter in ways big and small

I am done pretending
I don't see great and powerful wizards
working feverishly behind their curtains

Plague Season

Bubonic, septicemic, pneumonic

September to April
I will be vigilant
keep away from biting fleas
and the cats, rats, dogs that bear them

Septicemic, pneumonic, bubonic

Lift me if I fall to fever, chills
swelling, pain
faint, weak, coughing and
short of breath

Pneumonic, bubonic, septicemic

So very far from
what might be home
if I was weary or
brave enough to name it

Waiting

You have been waiting
all these years
for someone to come
and love you more
than you have been willing
to love yourself

I don't offer that dismissively
like another internet guru
or self-help icon 
(though they have their merits)

I say it one 
tender heart to another:
love begins here
with these kind words
this gentle care you offer
your own small soul