Winter writes to spring

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Is it okay to be happy today, when
the world is so sad? To fold into the arms
of pink and yellow, to carry my grief
like an Easter egg — fragile but vivid.

Maybe I’ll leave this sorrow among the leaves
of new grass, its green the pulse of breathing
and of ceasing to breathe; of all that ebbs
and flows again. Maybe I’ll string this sorrow

among the branches of the cherry trees
for the birds to weave into nests, or for the wind
to carry away. Maybe I’ll plant it deep
in the still-dreaming earth

and see what blooms.

A Valentine’s Day poem. Sort of.

VALENTINE

This is what you named the rat you bought
from the pet store. White fur and red eyes
that narrowed and darted and never met yours.

Because you couldn’t afford a cage,
Valentine lived in a cardboard box
though it took him less than one night

depressed-runaway-teenager-in-backyard-picture-id175482777to chew his way out and move into the cupboards.
But the apartment you shared with three other girls,
none of you yet eighteen, was empty of food

and furniture and parents and anyone
who could make a decent decision. You lived on
school lunches and leftover desserts

from the restaurants where you washed dishes. You slept
like four orphans curled together on one mattress.
You read poetry sometimes, for entertainment, Continue reading