I know that you figured it would somehow be my undoing:
a sweet smile at a man on the street
trusting other women around my man
loving with all my heart no matter what the cost
following my dreams with caution and care
silent contemplation of bigger things...
So you took great pains to initiate me into the challenges of the world
starting with us:
never fully giving over to love
because you had a wall around your heart
built of wild oats
and the complicated justice of youth...
When my life shed that relationship
I nearly closed every door, almost gave in to the attractive notion of a fortress:
it would sure save me money in tissues and cigarettes, now wouldn't it?
I stood tall and gentle
sternum to God
feet firmly planted in the good earth of California
Letting the very tenderness you so misunderstood become my finest attribute:
I've honed it
crafted a vessel out of it
with which to sail straight into darkness as easily as light
for both have immense gifts to hand me if I can just listen up and take care.
I know you've turned out to be a good man
firsthand: I am proud of you and I hold you and your family in my heart with great respect and honest affection
even more important than history and fortune,
the gift of knowing you has been the understanding that
water carves away rock
a calm, measured molecular song
as its gentle hand minutely sweeps away that which cannot be moved:
My tender loving heart is the strongest thing I have
and in its chambers everything heals
and leaves its perfect mark.
I built these earrings for a woman who needs to see her softness
as a warrior's strength.
Maidenhair Fern Impressions
Tough like a memory
and tender as an open heart.