Jedi

On the day you get into your first fight,
you tell me that now you understand
Darth Vader, how he reached
his tipping point,
and never came back,

and how the dark thing
welled up inside you
until you shoved harder than you ever knew you could,
how the other boy flew
three whole sidewalk squares,

and with the red blood
still wet on your lip, you apologized to the boy,
before the front desk buzzed me in
to gather you up, you had already
found your way

toward your own peace.  So together
we clean quietly the beginnings
of this new and storied scar,
Darth Vader never came back, you say,
but I’m a good person,

so I’ll recover.

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Small Loves

Last night you taped your
wish to the window.  Today,
the first snow.

School conferences,
and you glow softly like the
byproduct of love.

The conversation
we have with our eyes – wordless,
you say everything.

No one said it would
be easy, though the things that
matter sometimes are.

Soccer Ball

I do not know
how to explain
to the nine-year-old boy
on his birthday
that the world is not
always a soft place
to land.

And so I hold him,
like the day he was born,
until the tears
turn into something else,
perhaps a kind of soft relaxation
into love.

We are all growing up –
even the family of ducks that rides
the river eddy, yellow down
of early spring turned to
the feathered brown of adulthood,
even the tall cattails in the still-water marsh,
even you,
even me.

My words now are like
that broken nest laying in the grass,
both empty and life giving,
and he and I,
delicate
with the possibility
of what may fall.