My grandfather, with his bronzed hands
full of dark soil from planting dahlias,
tells me to focus on the bounty
we have been given:
A sky so wide and full
that it carries every color
of blue and pink and orange
you can imagine.
And a sun that warms us
from our head to our toes,
and gives us reason sometimes to say,
Beautiful weather today!
And a moon so gentle
that she even wins the stormy seas over
and gives us a beauty to gaze at
in the arms of our lovers.
And a planet of such abundance
that it gives us so much nourishment;
shade in the form of trees,
flowers that glow radiant for our eyes to see.
So do not despair at all your falls.
There is still happiness
to be had here,
no matter how small.
An example, my grandfather says,
while looking at my grandmother,
is that with just a good heart and some tenderness,
you, too, can have a love that lasts lifetimes.
In Self-Quarantine, Watching My Cat from My Bedroom Window
I hope one day I become
as gifted at recognizing
love as my cat is.
I named him after the poet
with the darkest, largest heart
and I think of ravens
every time I call his name.
He is not obedient,
but I would not want him tame.
His tightly coiled body as he stalks birds,
his discerning look when he hears
his name but does not wish to come home.
I too hope to be that confident in a love.
Someone who I know will still love me
even if I do not run to them
every time they call.
From Where Hope Comes From (Hachette, 2021).