Early Riser

Your head on my pillow
in the light of the
sunset through my window
you were gone by the time the
sun rose in the morning
waiting for me in the kitchen
when I awoke
a mug of tea
wrapped in your hands
an empty one
waiting for me
to join you.

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Dear June

Dear June

It’s hard to believe it’s been
almost four years
since you left all of us who
love you.
It’s harder still to believe all the
things that have happened
since then.

Dear June

The last thing you told me
was how proud you were
seeing me dance in college
and seeing everything I was
striving to accomplish.
Even though you couldn’t
be there in person
it meant a lot to me
how much you cared.
Even as you fought for
every minute you
gave some of those minutes
to me.

Dear June

I’m sorry I didn’t talk to you more after I
graduated from high school and
left your studio.
I never even picked up
the DVDs of my
last recital with you.
I’ve never been good at
staying in touch
even with the people who
used to matter the most.

Dear June

I’m sorry I never came to
say goodbye.
I was scared and didn’t know
how to handle pain and grief
so big and strong.
I’m still not sure what to
do with it
despite having it in my heart
so long.

Dear June

I know that this is
too little, too late
talking to you like this now
but I have so much to tell you
that you can’t be around to hear.
I’m really a teacher now.
I’ll be in my first classroom
starting this fall
and I know you’d still be
so proud of how much I’ve grown
from that little girl just
six years old
into who I am today.

Dear June

I hope you know
I miss you.
The peace you have now is
well-deserved.
I’m glad you’re not in pain
anymore.

Hammock by the River

Cradled in the hammock
you beside me
with the wind through the trees
a melody just for us

Sunshine mottled on our faces
through the leaves
and my freckles becoming
more each minute

The smile on your face
as we think about the future
more meaningful than even
the most heartfelt love song

The thought you put into your words
as we talk about everything
worth more to me than even
the most expensive ring in the world

Office

You tuck me into bed
kiss my forehead
and wander
back out of the room.
I can see the light
in the hallway
through the
crack beneath our
bedroom door
and I know
you’re in your office
still working
still building the future
and I know you’ll
come to bed later
and be up before I’m awake
and as much as I
wish you’d sleep more
I know this is
important
to you
to me
to us
and that
even as I fall asleep
you’re working to
keep what we have
safe.

Afraid of the Dark

Sometimes
I’m afraid of
the dark
not all the time
but when everyone is
upstairs in bed
the lights are off
and the shadows fall
just right
even my own home
is an unfamiliar darkness
my heart races
and I sprint
up the stairs
to the safety of
my own bed
and the sweet dreams
of sleep.

Can’t Help

Sometimes
I forget
just how much
I love you
and then I
see your smile
hear your voice
and it all
bubbles up
and over
and I just can’t help
but smile.

Sweetly Strange

It’s strange
but sweet
the sudden realization
that I am looking at
listening to the boy I’ve
fallen in love with.

stranger still
knowing he’s
my best friend
that I get to
call him
once a week
sometimes more
that I’ll
see him tomorrow
and many more
days to come

Nightmare

Five years passed with
nothing wrong.
Stopped the meds
and feeling strong.

First visit back
results no good.
Did we do
everything we should?

Have to wait
and look again
anxious hearts
remember what’s been.

Five years Mom’s been
cancer-free
but was it truly
meant to be?

Hopefully it’s
just a scare
we all must hope theres
nothing there.

Normal for Vermont

I grew up in a place
where it snows in April
and the flowers still
bloom in May.

I grew up in a place
where summer is short
and winter is long
and everything gets covered in snow.

I grew up in a place
where March comes
in like a lion and goes out
like a bigger lion.
(Probably because it ate the lamb.)

I grew up in a place
where the weather can change
in fifteen minutes or less
and nobody seems to mind.

I grew up in a place
that’s never too hot
but sometimes too cold
but that’s what warm coats and boots are for.

I grew up in a place
where springtime means mud
and the chipmunks
might eat your flower bulbs.
I grew up in a place
where autumn is wet
like the summer was saving
all its best storms.

I grew up in a place
where the weather is odd
and people from elsewhere
just don’t understand that
for Vermont
it’s really just normal.