mowing over dandelions

is not quite the same

as the childlike wonder

of blowing away seeds and fluff,

the wind catching and floating off

tiny parachutes full

of imagination and dreams,

the world an endless possibility

of happy endings.


but there is something

strangely satisfying

in driving the motor over their bowed

and weed killer-sprayed heads,

the blade spinning impassively

and the wheels flattening their discarded stems,

while small puffs of seedlings escape

from under the sides of the mower

like dying breaths.


the small joys of adulthood.


snow in the spring

yesterday it snowed a late spring snow,

and today i watched heavy, wet mounds fall

from the branches, already laden with green.


rather than sitting in silence,

the weight of cold and frozen memories

keeping them still,

exposed limbs blanketed and tucked away,


the branches let the snow slip off in shrugs,

wet leaves dancing,

sending showers down,

too full of life, too awake to sleep another day.

reduce. reuse. recycle.

When you say, “I will give you a new heart,”

you do not mean that you will throw away

the one I already have

like a totaled car or a broken dish.


For you, new is a word

that means returning something

to its original purpose,

restoring its former glory.


Which is why you make reusable hearts,

something good of your own hand.

an up-cycle, this heart,

re-purposed into a new love,

what it was always made for.


the joy of doing nothing —


of stretching out my thoughts,

too long folded up,


of staring into the sky

in search of new words,


of drawing still enough to feel

the universe expand,


of letting my soul settle

into itself,

into You.

Clothes for a Strong Woman

The other day I watched my friend try on some new clothes.

Nearly ten years in full habit with the sisters

had changed her form,

softened and mellowed her character,

and added a layer of seriousness to her heart.

But she was still the same girl that I knew in school,

ready for fun and adventure at every turn;

ridiculously joyful.

But now a new call to serve the world

required a change of clothes.

Among a few small piles of slacks and sweaters

that serve as her first set of working clothes,

I tried to give her advice about what the modern woman wears.


The fashion show that I’ve been watching

follows a young designer who is continually praised

for creating clothes for strong women.

Ninja spy assassins and warrior princesses

are her inspiration.

Bold, confident, and a force to be reckoned with,

her woman makes a mark on the world;

she runs the company and sets the trends

or doesn’t care enough what other people think

to follow the rules of conformity.


But what can I tell her,

she whose bravery to step out into a new path

after so many years within her religious community

astounds and inspires me.

Only that her black tunic and veil

when she first donned them

were symbols of her courage and freedom.

But then, so too are these indistinct pieces of business apparel.


Oh my dear,

it doesn’t matter what you wear,

your strength itself is a enough.

light and guard, rule and guide

what must it be like
to let the tragedy of death
befall us;
to stand back
and watch as we experience
what they have been keeping us from
all our lives.

what a strange moment —
the sorrow and the anguish
of letting us die
and the joy of meeting,
of the first look in our eyes
when we are able to look back into theirs,

and they can finally bring us
away from this world
and into the next,
the one where we have always belonged.