For the fathers who found me right where I was at those given times, and right on-time
You, who, with green eyes, blue eyes, and blue-green eyes
Loved me with a love that helped me grow tall, be tall, and stay tall
Thank you for the canned vegetables, the frozen vegetables for-the-first-time-in-a-lifetime, and for the fresh-from-the-farm-and-roadside vegetables
Though some would seriously judge, I needed your yo’ mama jokes, bar room jokes, and first thing in the morning jokes, to remind me to smile
-you showed This firstborn how to be Serious Business, after all-
Thank you forefathers, for being my fathers, for being there then, and though elsewhere now, for being still here nonetheless
Once a mountain there was
And a woman most worthy
As any woman is
Taking aim, then falling away
With purposeful looking
Set sight on a different mountain
On being a different woman
And she is allowed
As any woman is
All day yesterday
The word rang around me, “smile”
I cannot force one
The let-go girl, I tell you
See her, be her
Lest they make certain you’ll wish you were her
Your time for helping about
For tending clover, for being home
Wilted, without having seen the sun
Cancelled, before commencement
So plant your smile inside you now
Let go, girl
Misplaced since forever
I, being still the optimist
Will nevertheless forthwith only choose asterisks
Use lower case letters and mocking-fingers-in-the-air quotation marks
But know my lips, crowned and reaching upward
Outside smiling, inside snarling
Speaking in only opposites
Shall never say so in earnest
Once the hydrangeas have decided, there is no turning back. They bloom just for you. Intentionally. Enough sweltering days strung one-after-another makes them crazy enough to believe.
And delusional. They let you walk ever-so-near. They don’t see you’ve a gardener’s shears behind your back. And your intention…to display them on your basement table.
You’ll take away my grey hair, you will. Magically. Replace each one with the perfect shade of pink champagne. And I’ll be sixty like that. And smiling big from our gentle conversations.
You’ll have my willing green eyes, you will. Automatically. Value simple bike rides without analyzing the weather. And the air in your wings. And so what when the rain pelts your seasoned skin?
You’ll battle my worst tendencies, you will. Tragically. Celebrate the good and bad of them. And together, we’ll love the humble. And Conqueror will be your second middle name.