Ode to My Gazebo

You have been my place of comfort.
My place of security, and my place for solace.
I go to you to find a quiet space to read, to think, and to be.
You are my happy place.

You watched me in my loneliness, in my times of distress.
You watched me fall in love slowly, never all at once.
You saw me cram for tests during lunchtime as I ignored the sandwiches,
and you saw me help others study as they ignored their own.

You have watched me laugh, and you have watched me cry.
You have seen me shudder in the cold as I wrapped my coat tighter around my body.
You watched me notice the new kids come and go,
and you watched me turn pages slowly in the crisp wind.

When I leave you, be there for someone else.
Be there for their laughter, and for their tears.
Be there on their cold and lonely days, and on the days where they can’t stop smiling.
Be there when I can’t be.

Be there for the new girl who doesn’t know where she’s going next,
And be there for the boy who loves the girl and doesn’t know how to say anything to her.
Be there for the teachers who are running to a class they’re late to,
And be there for the fifth grader who fell and is trying to look strong.

You will always be my gazebo, though I’ll have to leave you soon.
You have given me ideas worth galaxies, and a place to lay my head after nights of no sleep.
You were there when no one else was, and when no one else wanted to be.
Be there for the new kids, and thank you for being there for me.





Mom. If I could be 1/3  of what you are, I will count myself lucky.

Mom. The one who lifts me up when I can no longer stand. Who raises me up above herself and teaches me to believe in myself. Yet she still teaches humbleness, and showed me how to let others speak.

Mom. The one who laughed and shook her head when she found out I watered the orchid every day. I wondered why it had died so soon…

Mom. The one who befriends the hummingbirds and the squirrels. The one who pauses to take pictures of the moon and of the pomegranate seeds. She taught me to notice the small things, the big things, and all those in between things.

Mom. The one who loves and loves and loves and loves. The one who gives all that she has and then some. Who knows how to hold on, and how to let go.

Mom. The one with green eyes and a green thumb. A mind with many words but a mouth that knows silence is at times golden. The one who taught me kindness is what matters most and patience is a virtue.

Mom. The one who I aspire to be. The one who showed me what love is. The one who told me I can do anything. The one who shows me generosity in the best ways, and strength in the hardest times.

Mom. If I could be 1/3 of who you are, I will count myself lucky.


Why We Didn't Work

Because The Odyssey is too long.

Because we didn’t know how to communicate.

Because Knottsberry Farm sucks.

Because I’m really liberal, and you’re really not.

Because I didn’t finish reading your story, and you finished mine the next day.

Because Luna Lovegood doesn’t get a love story anyway.

Because rhetorical devices are too good at making sense of nonsensical feelings.

Because you ask too many questions.

Because we both write poetry.

Because while Edmund Spenser had the right idea in Sonnet 75, we weren’t the right people.

Because you played football.

Because Nebraska was far away.

Because other girls caught your attention and I didn’t notice until it was too late.

Because I’ve already forgotten how to roller skate.

Because Newt Scamander was with a Lestrange first.

Because January was a long time ago.

Because something changed for you.

Because you never told me what changed.

Because neither of us wanted to admit that I liked you more than you liked me.


You, My Darling

You, my darling, are strong.
You are brave, devoted, and courageous.
You are not small
You are not weak or frightened, and you are not the problem.

You, my darling, are going to do so many amazing things
You will change the world for the better.
You will find happiness, love, and peace,
And I know you will give those things to other people.

You don’t need to have a place inside the heart of someone else.
You are your own person, your own place.
Do not let yourself become a walking apology, or a running metaphor.
You are made of mountains, and laughter. Oceans, and flowers.

Do not be afraid of love, it is simply a complicated, beautiful thing.
Falling into love is like skydiving, scary at first and then exhilarating.
It is like discovering a mountain top after hours of climbing.
Falling into love is like seeing individual leaves for the first time.

Do not spend all your time being afraid of being deceived, left, or broken.
It is hard to move on from the adrenaline rush, even when it’s the right thing to do.
It is hard to step down from the mountain top. The view is still so beautiful.
But do not spend all your time preparing for the hike back down.

Instead, know this: You are the best things that this world has.
You are ice cubes on hot days, and tea on cold ones.
You are laughter, and smiles, and inside jokes.
You are sunshine after months of rain, and you are the sunbeam through clouds of worry.

Do not let yourself believe you are anything but good, anything but worthy.
Let yourself believe in love, in joy, in sunshine and in mountain tops.
You are your own. You do not need to be someone else’s.
Because you, my darling, are everything you want to be.



You Came Into This World Dancing

You came into this world dancing.
I could recognize your feet anywhere,
They keep me on my toes.
You have always known the universe.

You are my favorite rhyme in the chorus,
And my favorite syllable in the metaphor.
You are your own compass,
And your own driving manual.

Little brother, you are more than I bargained for,
Yet more than I could have asked for.
You could solve the world with nothing but a smile and some time to spare,
And you could bring laughter from the shadows.

You were never meant to carry your darkness by yourself,
But instead you take yours and mine together, bundled up tightly in your heart.
So I’ll take your hand, your t-shirts, and half of the bundle.
We’ll make it over this mountain together.





In the distance, I can see smoke rising.
Red flames engulfing the trees,
The sky changing colors in the wind.

I can hear the sounds of sirens.
I can feel the hot, heavy air.
I can sense the dwindle of silence.

I am not big enough for fire,
I feel myself shrinking with the smell of smoke.
I do not know how to save you.

We have turned you into a land of wildfire.
With our neglect, we have caused smoke,
With our anger, we have brought flames.

I do not know how to put the furnace out.
I do not know how to make the sky clear again.
I do not know; I do not know.