Say Good-bye to Love


Walk across the river
Don’t delay
The boatman’s slow
The fish lead all astray
The current rushing past
Won’t pull you down
Don’t linger longer there
Don’t hug that ground

Step into the water
Fearless now
Take my hand I’m here
To show you how
Drop your burdens, still
Your silent screams
And walk across the river
Leave your dream

Walk across the river
Don’t delay
Morning waits to show you
Its new day
Each step you take’s a promise
You will see
When you walk across the river
Finally free

Say good-bye all you who hover
There along the crowded shore
But don’t wrap yourselves around her
Don’t you cry and beg for more
You had time enough and time again
To say what could be said
Lift your arms in celebration now instead
Wave good-bye and blow your kisses to the dead


A Little Prayer, Maybe


Love, last long
When edges fray
When patience tires
When kindness strays
When melody abandons song
Love, last long

Love, last long
When voices break
When fingers point
When fears awake
When laughter can’t tell right from wrong
Love, last long

Love, last long
When hair turns gray
When paces slow
When mem’ries fade
When darkness whispers move along
Love, last long

New Love

New Love

You touch the air
I breathe your sigh
We look, we laugh
The moments fly
And there in one
A tug so clear
Spins me around
Then draws you near
You touch my breath
I breathe your cry
We float just there
Beyond the sky
The moment sways
In sudden bliss
A whole life lived
Through just one kiss

It Ain’t Always Easy


Finding making binding buying
Love alone along the way
Day by day and time by time
Until the shining sun
Appears to wane and waste away
Without warm fingers,
Arms of light embracing lovers
Through the night of day.
It isn’t right to sing of
Adoration, love unending
While the gray moon mourns
The love lost day.

Away, away fly birds on wing
While pelted lovers dance and sing
Bringing rain to wash away
The lovers’ grime
From another day of dusty
Adoration, growing muddy in the dying
Gleam of sunbeam rays
That warm the puddles,
Lovers’ blood shed first in tears,
Then poured with wonder, mixed with dew
In a thousand bakers’ earthen jars
While up above with gloomy sheen,
The moonbeams yet caress the stars.

At First Sight


Here in my palm
Is a wish I hold dear
Tiny, with much room to grow

It’s the wish that I’ve held
For you year after year
A frail secret I just couldn’t tell

I had seen you one day
You were so far away
And I didn’t yet know your first name

But I wished and I prayed
And with each wish I made
I wished you were doing the same

Will we finally meet
On a less crowded street
Will you see me at last and just know

That wherever your heart
From the end to the start
Mine will be there to welcome you home

This isn’t an ode to stalkers. Honestly. I had sat down to write my husband’s Valentine’s Day card and ended up writing this first. I had been reflecting on how we met and how long we had been together.

I saw him long before I met him. He appeared in my homeroom junior year of high school. We had assigned seats, alphabetical order, and his was across the room. I happened to glance that way and had a moment of recognition that startled me: “That’s him. That’s the guy I’m going to marry.”

I was sixteen. My mantra, given to me by my mother, was, “Never get married; never have kids.” I was not the girl with the hope chest and stacks of bridal magazines. So, yes, I was startled, but I was also hooked. Hooked on meeting this guy, not marrying him. Oddly enough, he ended up in three of my classes that year. It wasn’t until senior year, though, that we started dating. During the interim, I was a bit obsessed, I confess. I went out of my way to put myself where he would be, hoping that he’d start to feel for me what I felt for him. It didn’t seem to work, so that summer, I convinced myself I was over it, over him. Life went on, until the first day of school senior year, when he sought me out. It was four more months before he asked me out.

Love at first sight? Maybe not love. How could it have been? I had no idea who he was, what he was like, how he fit into the world. Still, there was something there that day. A knowing? A recognition, at least. It wasn’t a hearts and flowers moment; it was calm and quiet, solid and sure. And it wasn’t fleeting—it dropped into my soul and stayed, waiting (not always patiently), even when I had vowed to forget about him.

And it’s still there, even now.

First Kiss

First Kiss

Nowhere does the joy of life
Sparkling with most radiant glow
Burst forth freely, bathing strife
In soothing streams, an endless flow
More than in a lover’s kiss
Freed from fear that binds the heart
Following the lifesoul bliss
To merge once more and never part

Love and Hisses

I was sitting quietly on the bed when the crying started. This wasn’t part of The Plan. The Plan had been agreed upon and rehearsed several times the night before: Mommy would wake Kiddo and kiss her good-bye before leaving for her appointment; Kiddo would go back to sleep; Nana would hang out in Kiddo’s room to keep her company and be close by if she needed anything. Like all plans we make these days, this one had lots of input from Kiddo herself. We do this, because it helps to cut down on the anxiety that typically leads to meltdowns. And it usually works.

Yesterday, there was a glitch. Maybe she wasn’t able to handle being woken so early. Maybe she couldn’t get back to sleep. Whatever the case, she started to cry for Mommy. At first she just called out for her and I, in my kindest Nana voice, reminded her that Mommy had gone to her appointment, but would be back soon. She turned to glare at me and said, “Shoo!”

This wasn’t a gentle or cheerful shooing. This was almost a growl, it came from deep within. The Plan was over before it began.

I skedaddled, but not too far. I went into the other room and settled into the rocking chair, just in case she changed her mind. I could hear her even if she called out quietly. Unfortunately, she could hear me too.

“Go away! Go downstairs!” I looked in at her. “Is there anything I can get you?”

“Hisssssss!!” Good choice. Hissing. She knows I hate snakes. Very effective, Kiddo.

I went across the hall to my room. There I could still monitor the situation and be close by if needed.

After a few minutes, I heard music from her room and then sobbing. I couldn’t help myself, I went to check on her. More hissing and a final yell, “Go back where I put you!”

In her mind, that was downstairs, so down I went. By now it was clear that any further attempt on my part to interact with her was just going to push her closer to a full-blown meltdown. I reminded myself that she was safe, comfortable in her room, and actually doing a pretty good job at soothing herself with music. Crying because she wanted her mom to be home with her was fine. I didn’t need to stop the tears. Let her express her feelings honestly. Go make a cup of tea.

When my daughter texted to say she was on her way home, I went back up to pass on the good news. She was playing a game on her iPad, but looked up to yell, “Oh, no, not you again! Hiss!!!”

Later, she told my daughter that I had been pesky and had hissed at her. Nice try, Kiddo. We all know who does the hissing in this house. They called my phone from the bedroom. She wanted Mommy to stay with her and me to bring her up some breakfast. I told her I couldn’t because she had said I had to stay downstairs.

“That’s true. You can bring it up and I’ll hiss at you and you can go back down.”

It’s our new thing. Her mom has another appointment this afternoon. Kiddo asked if she can go, bringing me to wait in the waiting room with her. “Can I hiss at her in the waiting room?”

My daughter’s wise answer: “If you want to hiss at her, it would be better to stay home and do it here.”

Living with a special needs child can be challenging. Love doesn’t always look the way you expect it to. Still, I know my granddaughter loves me. She happily hangs out with me other times. She sits on the arm of my chair and leans against me, just like I used to do with my grandmother. We talk about books and movies and fairies and dragons. I also know that when she wants her mother, I’m no substitute, so loving her means giving her space to express her anger and sadness. It means letting her know I’m here for her, while respecting the fact that, even at six-years-old, she might prefer music to my company. It means letting myself be hissed at until it becomes a game. And it means making sure that she knows that even when she sends me away, I’m still close enough to bring her breakfast when she’s ready.

(I was just informed that she has decided to stay home today and is eagerly looking forward to reading Harry Potter books with her aunt. “I’d never hiss at her.”)