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Progression

I found I could see
as I unzipped my eyes:
not only the trees’,
but the forest’s demise.

I found I could think
as I stretched out my mind:
into apathy we shrink
when we give up our spine.

I found I could speak
as I opened my mouth:
speak up for the weak
and the ones people doubt.

I found I could love
as I revealed my heart:
fashion another rung
for a ladder blown apart.

I found I could endure
as I acknowledged my soul:
commit to staying pure
as is possible in this world.

I found I could flourish
as I delivered my prayer:
o Lord, provide courage
to all everywhere.

Oh, don’t they know
how beautiful they are?
Unique, fallen snow
admired from afar.

Oh, can’t they see
just how warm they glow?
They need only be
content instead of low.

Oh, won’t they try
to start a little fun?
Adventure won’t deny
the rights of anyone.

Sleep’s Sword

My body’s grown tired.
I can’t concentrate.
The notebook is blurry,
as well as her face.

Perhaps in the morning
I’ll see clearly again.
For now I am conquered;
the sword over pen.

Speak

O Lord, guide me
in all my plans.
Your will be done
instead of man’s.

My flesh does err,
my feet do stray.
You clean my soul,
pure white from gray.

I trust Your love;
it never leaves.
It won’t be nabbed
by any thieves.

And when my doubt
rears its cold head,
I’ll pray to You
for filling bread.

My sin won’t cease,
but nor will grace.
Of Your kindness
I’ll speak always.

Pose

Makeshift hearts
cast on the fly
may drift apart,
and make us cry.

Separate lakes,
but the same lines.
Love, it takes,
yet gives us signs.

We finally caught
up to the sun,
just like we ought
to have already done.

Our future roads
might bring us close,
the compact odes
through which we pose.

Love, Triumphant

Bless this day on which
love has triumphed.
The sun shares its light
without prejudice.

Animal Crackers

There it was: the box I hadn’t noticed
since I was a kid,
sitting on the shelf between similar
but less familiar snacks.

The red, yellow, blue of the front
the same from years ago,
along with the slender string
for a handle.

Arriving home, I poured a generous glass
of two percent milk
and went to sit at the dining room table,
exactly the way I used to

enjoy the crackers when I was a boy,
in between games
of tag and hide-and-seek
with my sister.

Opening the thin cardboard of the box,
and then the bag,
I finally caught the slightest whiff of vanilla,
and I could again hear

my sister counting down from thirty
as I tried to find
the best place
to hide from her

(which was the usually-empty cupboard
below the kitchen sink, in case you’re wondering).
With the warmth of the spring sun
trickling in through the cracks in the blinds,

I submerged the first cracker,
a giraffe, in the cold milk,
waiting for it to become a bit soggy
like I had always preferred.

Taking the initial bite,
I allowed the pieces of the animal
to rest on my tongue, savoring
the subtle sweetness of the cracker

harmonizing with the creaminess
of the milk.
I then proceeded to consume
the remaining circus

of graham animals in one sitting,
enjoying the memories
they had brought back to me,
as I, now twenty-five years old,

reveled in the simple pleasures
of being a child,
if only
for part of an hour.

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