Alignment

I catch glimpses of you

A shoulder, a curl, a breath too late

Your voice, your giggle, your words are out of phase

Caught between then and now

The period of absence bloody birthed

Stolen flesh from my bone littered closet

Sweaty puddles of youthful immortality

Repugnant realization of lost redemption

The battle is held with mild reservation

Weary from our lack of alignment

Imperfect

How is it possible to hug a knife?

Point side to heart side

Words offering unity while quick to slice

Dividing us vs. them; we against pride

Fervent assurances that the blood is blue

While rejection, ostracism, and denial ring true

Nobody lives here. Nobody dares

Return away, retreat a way over there

There is no inclusion, no balance be found

Teetered the toddler, we all fall down

No prayers

I have seen the absence that is evil

I have tasted bitter its fetid seed

I have rebuked the sinner in my home

And also washed their feet

I have felt the winds uprising

As change blew into town

I have seen the faithful abiding

I have reaped what I have sewn

Whether or not the words left my lips

With me, blessing or being a naysayer

I never wish to see the clips

Of a day when there are no prayers

Two Strips of String Cheese

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There have been many times in my life where I’ve been food insecure for whatever reason. [Couch surfing, ditching an abusive husband, barely making ends meet with 12 hour days] By default, I find myself counting and re-counting the dollars I have to spend at the grocery store. I’m hyper aware when dollars go missing from my pocket.

At the grocery store this evening, as I browsed the produce section, I noticed a young man whom looked a LOT like my friend Rocky. Hair, gait, style of clothing, even the way he was talking aloud to himself reminded me of Seabuurd. He also looked quite distraught.

“Are you okay? You seem upset.” I asked.

“Yeah, I just…I just lost $10 somewhere on the floor. I’m retracing my steps.” he replied.

“Well I sure hope you find it.” I continued on my way giving a short glance around the area hoping I’d be the hero that found the missing currency.

A few aisles later, I see the young man again.

“Any luck?”

“No. Someone probably found it already. I really needed that.” He fruitlessly searched the barren floor.

“I’ll keep a look out.”

“Thanks.”

I checked my pocket where I only had $7 left until Friday evening. I decided if I saw him again, I’d give him the dollars. I headed to the pharmacy area to see if they had an OTC sling to put my arm in because my shoulder is really jacked up right now. As I searched the pharmacy shelves, I heard a loud ruckus coming from the checkout part of the store.

Three women were taunting the young man with the $10 they found in the aisle. At first he started to explain himself, but they kept on going. Bragging about their good fortune loud enough to be heard, literally, half-way across the store. The other patrons joined in to defend the young man, but the young women just wouldn’t let it go. Finally, the young man, nearly in tears tells the women that he hopes they get pulled over and have to use his money to pay the fine.

Not finding what I need, I head over to the checkout lane. I select the one with a high school friend of mine as the cashier. As I approach her, I ask what all the noise was about. She tells me the story. While she’s talking I look over my shoulder where the Rocky looking young man is packing his groceries into bags. He’s obviously shook up. I reached into my pocket and gave him my dollars.

“It’s not the full $10 bucks, but it’s closer than you were.” I smile at him. At first he refused, but my high school chum tells him to take it.

“She won’t quit. You’re better off taking it.” She tells him.

“Oh, well do you like string cheese?” He asked me with sincerity. “Here have a piece.”

He gave me a piece which I peeled at the register and we ate together in the middle of the checkout line. “Have the rest of it.”

“Nah, I’m good. I can’t eat too much of that.”

“Please take a couple pieces at least.” He offers them earnestly to me. I accept and put them into my grocery bag. At that moment a tall well-dressed man enters the store, walks up to the young man with his hand extended.

“I approached them in the parking lot and asked for the money back. At first they were all about keeping it, but I told them I’d call the police because they were assholes. They gave it up.” He chuckled richly.

“Aw, man! Thanks, dude!” The young man reached into his pocket, retrieved the dollars I’d given him, attempted to return them to me.

“No. I already gave it to you, they’re yours. You now can pay it forward better.” He looked astonished. He kept telling me what a beautiful human I am. Even as I walked away from the counter he was continuing his praise.

You may or may not believe me about this, but I do stuff like this all the time. I don’t do it for the compliments or praise. I’m not even telling you this story for positive feedback.

I’m telling you that when you do something equally as kind, it spreads like a California wildfire. When you put yourself out there by an act of kindness bigger than the moment, you’re doing what you are born to do. You’re born to shine. You’re born to be the beacon of hope, love, and joy in this ridiculously cruel world. You get to be the hope someone sees by your actions. Like lighting your candle off your neighbor’s at the Christmas eve candlelight service, it spreads love.

Preaching all day long does nothing but give you a sore throat. ACTIVELY living loving is a practice in mindfulness; a revolutionary awareness of the world around you. It is a true mark of courage to be the light in the darkness. It is a badge of honor to set aside some wants you have (like giving up my breakfast tomorrow morning) to give someone else that light. I’ll keep doing what I do, regardless if you follow my lead or not, but we should practice this kind of radical kindness every day.

Holiday Blitz

Knowing the depths of my heart like I do,

didn’t prepare me for the absence of you.

I wrap myself in the memories of our youth

decorating our days with living proof

I know you’re with me, I know it’s true

but my heart aches because I can’t hug you.

The denied State

I confess the sins of my father’s life

as it applies to me

I am salty as a pillared Lot’s wife

lost in the desert sea

Tears I weep bear witness brazenly rife

Innocence amputee

Rending the branch with my family tree’s knife

Idiosyncrasy

 

Promises

As I lay me down to sleep

I know that you will always keep

the promises we made my friend

even when the night never ends

We will never be apart

for I will always carry you in my heart

You were there for me

I was there for you

When we shared everything

We still stayed true

If you took away

every childhood day

I would still choose you

I still carry you in my heart