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Board me quickly; cast to sea;
leave this grieving shoreline.
How welcome this exile.
Never again to pass where I watched
unknown
still wearing your scent,
your touch, all made doubly absent
by strangers’ ignorant sobs.

No one saw; my mourning days unwritten,
these waiting days left
on quite roadsides, wondering
if indeed I would last
forever, how long named by
past-tense love,
wishing us present, wishing again
to read your mind as only
one soul allows.

Abide with me.
Remain with me.
My wisdom, yes, but more my plea –
my heart’s great cry.
I ran to those you love,
gave them all I knew,
searching their beauty, their glory
for any piece for every piece of you,
hoping my feet once more would carry
me faster and this time find you waiting.

I miss your words.
Replaying them in my head, I cling to comfort
as your voice becomes more ink than breath.
And here I wait again, each
slapping wave releasing me from these remembered places,
washing my feet once more;
the ghost-less sea leading
me in unexpected kindness to
my laying bare.

Light and love are my embankment;
even here they shield and secure me,
holding me until in thrilling
delirium I feast on this glimpse.
Across the adoring multitude:
my friend.
And I forget even the future,
beholding the beloved,
knowing that against you again I’ll recline.

come
please come.

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I’ve been trying to get this one out for more than a year, but it wouldn’t let go.  Turned out there were some things I just didn’t know enough to write yet.  After a little more waiting (and working and listening), I think we found a point that we’re happy with.  I’m excited it’s here now.  Hope you enjoy.

I’ve been wanting to put up a real picture just so you’d know we actually exist.  I’d love for this to be the picture at the top of the blog, but I’m pretty sure that’s impossible or would at least take more figuring out than I have patience for.  A friend of ours who is a fantastic photographer took it, and I completely love it.  It also may be the only picture of the 3 of us together taken in the last six months (I have no idea how that happens, but it’s true). It’s also a little misleading since it was taken on one of the six days all year that we all need heavy coats (these are heavy to us!  And yes, I’m holding my daughter’s instead of making her wear it.) and it’s currently 95 degrees outside, but again, I just like the picture.  Hope you do too!

Sometimes I’m stunned when my daughter says things to me at 2 that I say only in my head, things I’d never speak and even try to keep from appearing. It makes me wonder how they slip through, when she sees them, or if somehow, unknowingly they slipped themselves into my DNA like curls or an occasionally questionable attitude. I look at her in her perfection and wonder how she carries these things of mine, if somehow in me, too, they could be as wonderfully made.

We celebrated Mother’s Day quietly a few weeks ago, because quiet is what any mother of a two-year-old wants (and deserves!) most. [A side note: I’ve recently heard living with a two-year-old compared to having a deranged parrot in your house and to living in a DVD with the director’s commentary turned on. Both are true and funny and make me feel better and understood! And though it sounds like I‘m complaining I really love it, because she is smart and engaged and completely hilarious!]

Back to Mother’s Day: my daughter and I sent ourselves upstairs for the afternoon, allowing my wife some well-deserved rest with the couch and HGTV. As I busied myself with my endless, mildly obsessive list of things to do, I tried to keep her distracted with toys and television, staying in one room long enough to get her occupied and then moving to another to try to get something done. But she’s fast and curious, and I’m ashamed to say how quickly I found myself dodging my child, convinced that her sole purpose was to frustrate my efforts and relegate me to another week of being massively behind (behind what I‘m not sure). After several maneuvers she found me again, and as I tried to move away, she exclaimed at me in her own frustration “I just want to see you!”

I just want to see you.

Those words have so often been kept from my mouth only by my dignity and the knowledge that it’s not something you can yell at strangers, or even less-than-strangers.

I want you to see me, too.

In her raw and determined state, this not-even-three-feet of honesty never considers that she shouldn’t have what she wants, and she chases me down because she wants what I want. And I’m tempted as the words come out of her mouth to say you don’t know, you can’t know now that this is a hard desire, to advise her to trade that chromosome for another that’s more functional (like the ability to add more than single digits) and less inclined towards brooding and heartbreak, both real and self-imposed. You don’t want to spend your life trying to see or hoping to be seen. Except that I know, too, that every once-in-a-while it happens. I get to see. I am seen. And it’s great and strong enough – strong as death – that it eclipses those longing days.

It’s not mine to change what’s knit into her, only to teach and empower her and give her a taste of living it out well, and to hope that she also has enough of her mother that she‘ll pull it off better than I do most of the time. So I gave up my list; we sat together to watch cartoons, and for a little while we both got what we wanted.