Archive for May, 2014


somewhere in a darkened room

probably on the floor

or worse a hard bed

two hundred and


schoolgirls are waiting

to die

to live

to be rescued

somewhere they are crying and praying

and two hundred and

eighty-four mothers

sleep every night

if they can

with lost voices in their heads

some time they may never see again


and somewhere in the Midwest

a third-grade girl is lying dark

in a hospital bed


glass shards from a drive-by

and waiting

to see

to heal

somewhere in her head is a cry

and we pray

somewhere her mother

sleeps every night

if she can

with the picture in her head

of a girl with two eyes

some time she may never see again


and somewhere there is another girl

and another

victims of bullying




and where do the next mothers come from

if we can’t

bring back our girls?

some we may never see again



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The Light Gatherer

Carol Ann Duffy

When you were small, your cupped palms
each held a candlesworth under the skin,
enough light to begin,

                                              and as you grew
light gathered in you, two clear raindrops
in your eyes,

                              warm pearls, shy,
in the lobes of your ears, even always
in the light of a smile after your tears.

Your kissed feet glowed in my one hand,
or I’d enter a room to see the corner you played in
lit like a stage set,

                                       the crown of your bowed head spotlit.
When language came, it glittered like a river,
silver, clever with fish,

                                                and you slept
with the whole moon held in your arms for a night light
where I knelt watching.

                                                  Light gatherer. You fell from a star
into my lap, the soft lamp at the bedside
mirrored in you,

                                  and now you shine like a snowgirl,
a buttercup under a chin, the wide blue yonder
you squeal at and fly in,
like a jeweled cave,
turquoise and diamond and gold, opening out
at the end of a tunnel of years.


to my mom and mother-in-law, and all the other women in my life who’ve been such an influence for good — thank you for encouraging me to shine

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Somehow when there is serious illness


possibly debilitating

or just something to halt you in your tracks

drop you where you stand


all the little things we do

don’t matter

so that game on my phone?

that new library book?

that dress i needed?

that restaurant i wanted to try?

all slip quietly aside to make way for the real


hospital patient

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Something for today

I needed this today, with my husband in the hospital…

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