Fancy Footwork Not Required


Will you dance with me?
There’s music somewhere.
Listen for the last
Notes. They linger still

From songs sung softly
On warmer nights, shared
In a hope-filled past,
The words our own. Will

You dance with me? We
Have some time to spare.


After the Storm


Should I write about the wind?
Should I play for you my song?
Should I tell you secret tales?
Should I trust my heart to yours?
Should I wait beside the fire?
Should I read between the lines?
Should I write about the wind?

Will you shelter me from storms?
Will you try to sing along?
Will you keep my secrets safe?
Will you hold my heart in yours?
Will you meet me by the fire?
Will you write me of your love?
Will you shelter me from storms?

Let us walk into the wind.
Let us hum as best we can.
Let us share our hidden thoughts.
Let us join our hearts as one.
Let us sleep beside the fire.
Let us write a brand new tale.
Let us walk into the wind.

I write, I play, I tell, I trust.
I wait, I read, I write, I must.
You shelter, try to keep and hold.
You meet, you write, you shelter, bold.
We walk, we hum, we share, we join.
We sleep, we write, we walk, forlorn.
Our story is the wind, our love the storm.

Missing My Mom


You built your box before I was born
With wood and nails, found or borrowed,
Bought or bartered, yours however earned.
I watched you tuck away your life,
Your longings, tears and screams, and
Private dreams you wrapped in paper
To hide from prying eyes like mine.

Such an ugly box to innocent eyes,
Ignorant eyes, knowing nothing of boxes
And the skill it takes to build one
That will last a lifetime.
I saw your box and said I could
Do better, with harder wood, strong glue,
New screws, and a fresh coat of paint.

My box would be bright and strong, and
Hold only happy memories from a
Bright, strong life. My life, lived better.
I’d show you how it could be done.
If only you had built a box like mine
Instead of your small box, stained dark
To hide those knots and imperfections.

But your box never broke even when
You banged the lid, frustrated that
You couldn’t find the memories you
Had tucked away for safe keeping.
And my paint peeled and cracked
As I searched for memories of my own,
Tucked away so carefully, yet still faded.

How foolish to think I could prove you wrong
When it came to boxes. Yours was just as strong,
And deeper than I ever realized. And mine
Had just as many knots and imperfections,
Hidden under that bright fresh paint.
I wish we had talked about choosing our wood,
Measuring and cutting, fitting and fastening.
I wish I had known why you built the box
You did, and what you thought of mine.

One More Time


My walls went up a hundred years ago,
Plaster and lath, generations thick,
Family built and carefully maintained.

You saw them when we first met and
Agreed these walls could last a lifetime,
And you were okay with that, because

You knew walls. You ran your hands
Over the surface and felt for weaknesses,
Showed me the spots that had some give,

While promising not to tear them down.
You knew walls. Said they had character,
So I invited you in and let you stay.

But now you’re tired of plaster and lath,
Tired of this being my house, not ours.
You’ve brought wallboard, so smooth

And hard. It doesn’t give an inch.
All these years, you left the old,
Never promising you wouldn’t build new.

If I Wrote Music, This Would Be a Country Song


No lights are on,
And your shades are drawn.
When I’m here you pretend
That you’re not home.
While I wait,
I can feel you
Wishing me away.
I’m here to stay.

You’re the only home
I’ve ever known,
And I’d rather sit here
All alone,
In the dark and cold
With you just a wall away.
It’s still night right now,
But I’ll wait.
It will soon be day.

You can’t shut out
All emotion.
Love and pain are
Here to stay.
We’re still meant to be
So don’t hide your face
Don’t push it all away.
It’s night right now,
But soon it will be day.

How did our love
Go so wrong?
It was strong and deep,
And we got along through
The toughest days and
Coldest nights I’ve known.
You held me close, and
You were my only home.

Why are we such strangers
now? You’re locked inside
Your darkened house,
I know those locks—
I used to be the key.
I know you’re in there
Listening—so please,
Let me in and say you see it too—you’re the only one
for me, and I’m here for you.

You can’t shut out
All emotion.
Love and pain are
Here to stay.
We’re still meant to be
So don’t hide your face
Stop pushing me away.
It’s night right now,
But soon it will be day.

The Days Are Getting Longer


Last year, deep snow
Covered the yard.
Today you see grass,
Dormant still under
The winter sun.
Don’t be fooled—
That ground is
Still frozen.
It will take more
Than melting snow,
Or a passing thaw,
To soften the grip
Of too many winters.
But don’t give up
Hope. Don’t walk away.
Life can be green
Again, and buds
Will grow where
There are only
Thorns. Please, stay
Despite the chill.
Together we’ll welcome
The strong sun,
And the warm rain,
The returning spring.
I’m worth the wait.
We’re worth the chill.