Love Letters

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Eclipse

You move between places like clouds and water.

But come back to the desert

where a grave becomes a safe haven,

and your bones come alive again.

Tremors of light and wind

in strangers bodies and the shock of being seen.

You stood and watched a rainbow

in the middle of a storm cloud

And a man made a paper camera for you

to watch the eclipse

as you flew across the sky.

Comes the Dawn

After awhile you learn the subtle difference
between holding a hand and chaining a soul.
And you learn that love doesn’t mean security,
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises.
And you begin to accept your defeats with you head up and your eyes open.
With the grace of maturity, not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build all your roads on
today because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans,
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After awhile you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure…
That you really are strong
And that you really do have worth.
And you learn and learn and learn…
With every goodbye you learn.

Author: Veronica A. Shoftstall

Standing still. Perfectly.
As you rush by. Unseeing.
Caught up in plans for the day.
That make you feel important.

I sit like a cat. Watchful.
The sound of the door closing.
Dust particles dance as the air displaces.
I am alone. Again.

That feeling rushes up.
Despair. Is it? Screaming.
For attachment. For recognition.
For someone to tell me I am alive.
For anything but this.

Standing still.

So near and yet so far

Lavender sky with a moon
full to bursting
Beckons another night alone
But you are there, just over the horizon and I know that you are home.
Oh how I wish that the moon would take me, over the hill
To where you lie.

Stars twinkle brightly, they pop into darkness
I whisper a wish to the brightest among them and send it off into the
clouds.

Oh how I wish that I could see you, just a glimpse before I go
But the wind dances by me and the sleeping world deepens and I wait for the
Morning to come.

It is I you have been looking for

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes any sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out in the day to mail letters and
purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

–Naomi Shihab Nye