“I think they are pretty,” I say
from my supplicant’s pose.
Shaking my head, I finger tiny fuchsia flowers
nesting on lacy green leaves
soft as cotton to the touch
“Yeah, I know,” you say,
as if one time too many.
“But they are weeds and will take over the garden.”
You have personal knowledge
so I do not disagree.
I am a novice gardener lacking
any genuine enthusiasm.
I will trust it is necessary and I am determined
to do my part. Kneeling in the sandy soil
I commit to the rhythm I am creating
The roots release their hold so easily.
I also let down my guard,
“Is it a turn off for you that I have gained weight?”
I am alarmed I released this question
so irretrievably into the open spaces.
The silence before you speak stings
almost more than what you say:
“It is not NOT a turn off,” you state
pragmatically then your words
sit leaden and naked between us in the stagnant air.
“Oh” I say, silly and embarrassed.
I sit back on my heels and allow the thickness of fatigue
to cover me like a warm blanket.
I welcome the late afternoon light
swimming in my eyes.
I reach over and pluck a white dandelion,
fluffy and full-bodied and shake it
without much feeling.
The fibrous spears release into the air;
I watch as they catch the afternoon breeze
whisked away up and out until they disappear.
It would be nice to be able to do this.
I admit to myself as I gaze after the fragments
dancing and bouncing and floating off,
no longer earthbound – instead
giddy and free
and light as a feather.
© Maureen Buckley
Excerpt from the book “Imperfect Paths”
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Foreword . . .
How many people can say they have not walked on rough terrain to get to where they are today? Most of us have been bruised and beaten to find out who we really are within; to find joy in this life we have been given. We are flawed beings with imperfect paths, and those turbulent journeys can either make us or break us.
It is easy to blame our past wrongs, the people who have tarnished our trust, and the bad bets the world throws at us. But we still hold the power to make a choice to become better than the humans who hurt us; to be the voice of change by learning from the experiences which have attempted to break us. Along the many roads traveled, the decisions we make will determine who we are to become.
Take a moment to walk in another’s shoes. The poets here have opened their Pandora’s Box, not to release the personal demons that taunt or once to keep them confined, but to share how to sever the weights one is shackled to.
Donna J. Sanders, Author
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