in the wings

a repost for my new friends from July 9, 2013,
and a special ty to my friend Cindy Knoke, an
incredible photographer for always rummaging
in my archives.
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a great big hug to my daughter on her 14th birthday
for sharing this song which inspired this story/poem.
please feel free to listen to it as a soundtrack.
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in the wings
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they seemed to meet, quite by accident
but something in their eyes, told them otherwise
this wouldn’t be their first conversation
but.. it always felt like it could be the last

like a patient, who knows their time is near
with so many faces yet to see
and…confessions to make
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and…sunsets to end
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their now daily talks lasted for hours
even after they left that little cafe
feverishly texting on the bus back home
sometimes…through the hush of their night

they would talk of paintings, songs and poetry
any silly thing, as long as there was a reply
the hold on each other, so tenuous
an undertow…
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the pull of fear as real
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he not so accidently, brushed her hand on the table
she instinctively recoiled, placing it on her lap
she apologized quickly, she was sorry
but regretted showing him so much

his practiced stoic reaction, said little
this time his heart, tried valiantly to follow
‘but isn’t that how it always goes?’
setting a few more bricks in the wall

he was a little braver than she was
or maybe his clock, was just ticking faster than hers
he said the words, that they both feared
and knew it was wrong…
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the moment he spoke
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two hearts… waiting in the wings
for love to speak and heal their pain
all the words… they shared between them
could not help them say goodbye
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thCADWZMMJ

the first sound…and the last

Myth
You cant keep hangin’ on
To all that’s dead and gone
Oh, let the ashes fly

Help me to make it
Help me to make it
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the first sound…and the last
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in the quiet before sunrise…
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before this relentless world awakes…
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at the window silhouette of my
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alone listening…
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i hear the first of morning’s call,
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faint from the dense of sheltering evergreens…
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alighting from February’s greyed and leafless branches…
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in slow breaths past your sleeping lips…
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i can hear our shared living mystery recital
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whispered deep within your down pillowed dreams,
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the serendipitous and storied soliloquy of
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our improbable union of years.
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in destiny devoted season after season…
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that even in this cruelest of another Winter cold,
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we can still scorch
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in the white of our own flame.
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and still… this fool romantic’s heart
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could believe only Love beckons reconciliation,
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but a slow and greying wisdom wonders
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‘is it our friendship we can’t live without?’
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and outside our window long past sundown…
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when the world has turned away…
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i hear the life mating cardinals, like us
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a fated pair
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calling each other home to close another day.
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we are as the Universe demands, and how
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i’m forever grateful it’s your voice i hear.
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the first sound…
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and the last.
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drawing approx. 8″ x 8″ on vellum paper
pencil, watercolor pencil, white and black marker,
acrylic paint and sourced from various Google pics
click to enlarge

my earthly Angel

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and how could it be…
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hearing only her laughter, singing
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the melody of my every dashed Hope, raining
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down in sparks and chords
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from soaring skies so high above my broken life,
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swirling past faceless strangers
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in anonymous rooms. if
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there were other voices to hear that night
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these ears never heard them, and if
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there were other eyes to see,
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mine never met them. and if
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there is a steady hand
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coloring summer days from despair, the
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perfect cosmic hand was dealt us that night,
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a royal flush of Kings and Queens,
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of hearts and diamonds,
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of fateful serendipitous
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milliseconds
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between the lost..
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or found.
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to Scout, my earth Angel
Happy 13th Valentine’s Day
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approx, 8″ x 10*’ on vellum paper
pencil, watercolor pencil, white marker
sourced from a b & w selfie of Scout
and my imagination. click to enlarge.

echoes of Autumn…Tanka/Haiku

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echoes of Autumn…
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voices like leaves rustle and
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scatter to the wind,
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yet another poet’s pen
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has sadly been set aside.
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windy-leaves

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a wordless farewell…

like the brightest leaves they fall
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when their season calls.
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but just as the memories

of true love always lingers,
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creativity
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and their inspired poetry
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forever remain.
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dedicated to thesilentfingers, Tanumoy Biswas,
Memoirs of a Dragon, cubby and Tiffany Coffman. ty, all.

let the world….

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let the world do as it will…
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what pale light lingers of endless Winter days
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fades from these eyes averted,
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far away from this reluctant silhouette’s
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anonymous imprints in greying sidewalk slush.
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let the world do what it has…
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i measure my walk lightly here in frugal steps
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and speak less amidst the throng,
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not belonging where i don’t an eager
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trade of so many years in such meager wisdom.
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so let the world do what it must…
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that our words and value lie less in volume
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than in selfless devotion’s daily intent.
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this grateful heart returns Home

warm with aromas of pine scented candles and

food so lovingly prepared,
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the eclectic comfort of all we’ve collected
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of familiar voices and heartbeats
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and know there is no world i need but ours.
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DSCN0856

Repost Friday……summer us

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a summer favorite, and a light and breezy
soundtrack to read this poem by::::enjoy::::
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summer us
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how you try in vain to shield such lovely pale soft skin
with your lotions, umbrellas and wide brimmed straw hats
while i crave this Mediteranean sweat and bask in the burn

how you must swim in every fresh water or rolling surf
while i just dig my toes deeper into any warming sand
content just hearing your giggles and joy

how you refuse to wake up your sleep in vacation mornings
while i stay up sleepless nights penning you my poems of love
listening for the sighs and mumbles of your overtime dreams

how you dutifully RSVP each planned event and bbq
yet smiling face rush to any impromptu backyard party
while i ask you again and again please say ‘hey’ from me

how you always order your iced decaf Americano black
while i need extra soy in anything caffienated latte’ style
and who will really believe that we both sans the sugar?

oh darlin’!
my warm weather twin

and who would really believe our eleventh summer is almost here?
and why would anyone really hear the truth we simply can’t deny
that anyone can possibly share our summer joy more than you and i?
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images (7)

refuge

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thCAWX4BGB
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refuge
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on days like this
like so many days
and for no reason
and for all my reasons
this fragile heart can’t
face this relentless world

when all i hear is abundant cruelty
when all i know are slights and daggers
when all i feel is every desperate heart
when all i see is every place i don’t belong

remember… our first momentous night together

pine scented candles and your second hand flowered couch
when so tenderly stroking your forehead hushed you to sleep?
and content just to watch you breath your tranquil dreams

you knew then i could always do that for you and
i knew then i would finally share my every weakness
because there is no refuge in this world for me but you

between day and mystery…..Haiku / Tanka

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a most beautiful song to read by
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between day and mystery
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could it really be…
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these arms spent so many years
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not holding you near,
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without breathing in
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the scent of love in your voice
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when you’re close to me?
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how long did i wish…
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that every cloud would spell
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your name in the sky,
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a heavenly trail
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i would follow faithfully.
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in each dream i dreamt…
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tumbling through galaxies…
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search imploding stars for
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any trace of you.
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how these fingers grieved,
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without the soft curves of your
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body next to me.
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tossing and turning as each
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day morphed into loveless night.
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awake….without you…
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living in the void between
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day…. and mystery.
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thCAVN1YTK

Friday Repost: coverlet

Friday Repost
for my new friends,
a little dig in the
archives for you.
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coverlet.
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i dreamt…

i wrote you a poem last night

i traced the words with my finger

across the cotton coverlet

i wrapped you in

to keep you safe and warm
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i watched

you breathing as you slept

sat on the edge of the bed

for hours remembering

every kiss i ever gave you…

every laugh i ever made you…
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i’ve sewn

all our memories together

into this blanket of love

i wrapped you in

so you will always remember

all that you are to me
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i wrote

the poem lightly with my finger

so not to wake you

and over and over and over

i traced the words so you never, never forget

‘please… don’t ever… ever leave me’
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black-white-romantic-couple-lovers-large-oil-painting.
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everyday….. Of Kitchens & Promises

everyday will be a random
posting of daily events or
memories of my daily life
that don’t translate
well into poetry

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I should have known when she spent an entire summer weekend dutifully making notations in pencil on the back of every page of a very neat black clasped, inch thck manuscript. Curious, I inquired, thinking it was something she had written. As she slowly wrapped her left arm around the stack of paper, protective like any good editor and gathering it closer as she lay flat on the pull out futon, answering in a very quiet but deliberate voice,

‘It’s Anna’s autobiography, she asked me to read it and take notes.’

I sat there in my favorite writing chair in the room we shared when she sleeps over, mouth slightly ajar and more than a little dumbfounded. Cbear, my daughter was 12 last year.

I guess I should have known then.

Maybe it should have dawned on me a few months later when she had her choice of languages to study, after testing into one of the better high schools that includes a new advanced 7th and 8th grade college prep program.

‘I decided to continue Chinese. The United States and China wiil be doing a joint space venture someday and I want to be there.’

Spoken so matter of factly, I could only stammer,

‘Uh…sure, that makes a lot of sense Cbear.’

We had spoken about the possibility of her learning French and how it might inspire her writing, poetry and the blossoming creative side of her personality. She’s been learning Chinese for 5 years now, about as long as she’s expressed the burning desire to be an astro-physicist. Stephen Hawking is one of her favorite reads.

It should have dawned on me, right then and there.

I mean, how dense of a father can I be to not realize that my little girl is growing up in leaps and bounds so profound I am continually playing catchup, constantly trying to assimilate and absorb this not so sudden reality? Any comparison, any attempt to relate to how I was at her age has long ago become obsolete becaue there is none.

It feels as though I’m flying by the seat of my parental pants, trying to grasp a shooting star.

And it’s not that I’m attempting to hold her back, that would be as selfish and unfair as it would be impossible but….I just keep wondering where these 13 years went, I worry that her childhood is going by too quickly.

I wonder if she feels the same whooooosh! of time that I do.

Cbear lives with her mom and as a child of a divorce is about as well adjusted as you could expect a kid to be. There are the inevitable day to day details I really regret missing over the years with our every Wednesday, every other weekend sleepover arrangement, but when we’re together we talk about stuff, real stuff.

She and I have always talked, our conversations began when she was very young as my way to resolve conflict, when she occasionally misbehaved and needed some guidance and direction. It was very purposeful, a night and day difference in how conflict was so called ‘resolved’ when I was a kid, the back of the hand injustice I was given as guidance by my parents.

And if there ever was a conversation that
crystalized just how grown up this 13 year
old daughter of mine is now, it is the one
we had a few weeks ago standing in the
kitchen of our apartment after school.
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Soon after moving into Scout’s apartment, we did an assesment of what we now owned together. With both of us being good cooks fond of our own special pots and utensils, the large but poorly designed kitchen that held promise, needed a complete redesign. I cooked professionally for 4 years, and being borderline OCD I designed it to resemble a restaurant kitchen, lots of stainless steel, almost everything exposed, organized and easily accesible.

Every utensil, pot, saute pan and dish had its own place.

I took the entire kitchen down to the studs on the walls and floors and started from scratch, doing most of the work myself. The project took about 6 months, and there were days we wondered if we had bitten off more than we could chew.

But now all these years later, our kitchen like kitchens in most people’s homes is the hub of ours too, the place where the day to day life of our family begins and ends, where lists are made, food is shared and conversations had. Ours is not a sit down kitchen with a table, but it is very comfortable with a large counter where we sit and eat, work on laptops, and chatter about our day.

And if you’ve been to other people’s homes for a dinner or party, the kitchen is usually where all the adults eventually find themselves, the magnet of proximity to food and beverages is just too appealing. So in retrospect, it was fitting that Cbear and I had this converstaion in our kitchen that night.

I knew the minute she began talking this was no ordinary conversation, turning off the burners on the stove I turned around to face her eye to eye, heart to heart because what she was telling me needed every bit of my attention and careful consideration. We spoke for about an hour, I listened a lot, I asked questions and she was as direct and truthful and matter of fact as I’ve ever known her to be. After I took her head in my hands, kissed her forehead as I always do, we hugged for a long time before she returned to her bedroom to resume her homework.

I stood there for a long while letting the warmth and wonder of the moment wash over me, shaking my head some, tearing up a little too. I thought about the first time this person, this now young adult and I first met, in the delivery room after the horribly traumatic ordeal of the emergency C section had subsided, where it was very touch and go for both her and her mom, when the nurse finally handed me this tiny bundle of blankets with a baby inside, how tiny this new life felt in my large hands and the truly beautific smile the nurse had on her face as she told me my daughter and her mom were healthy.

I can recognize that tranquil, clear eyed matter of fact innocence now, it was there when I looked in her hazel eyes that night, as i kissed her forehead for the first time and just before the nurse came back to take her to her mom, the promise I whispered in her little ear, that the injustice I experienced as a kid by hand and from the mouths of my parents, would never be experienced by her. Ever. It would end with me.

And I stood there a while longer, eventually turning on the burners again to resume dinner for us both thinking about promises, that we don’t hear or read much about them these days, these days of instantly unfriending someone, where divorce is so commonplace that more than half of Cbear’s schoolmates are living in single parent households, where commitment and devotion seem like such an ancient concept.

I made two promises early in my life, one I broke staying five years longer than I should have in my frst marriage, a marriage that had become loveless, and in hindsight a promise made to fix what my parents broke, my childlike attempt to repair my own family.

I kept the promise I made to Cbear, easily the most important thing I’ve ever accomplished in this life and the woooosh! of time brought me such a profound and divine humility and gratitude that she wanted our living arangements to change,
that she wanted to spend more time with her dad.

We decided a week here and a week with her mom would be best for all of us, and during the first week we were talking about stuff again. I’ve been revealing a little about my life to her when I was sure she was ready. We were looking at old photos of her when she was a baby and I told her of the promise I made to her that night as I held her for the first time.

And I could see it was she who was listening quite intently this time, and when I finished she looked at me eye to eye, heart to heart and said,

‘Thank you dad’,

and we hugged for a long time, right there in the kitchen.
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everyday….Bucket of Glads