all the places i have lived


i take a break from the boxes —

the glaring bare walls, growth


points, formative life-joints

of this little house on the corner —


this little space carved out of time

that could and could and then just couldn’t.


i walk under a canopy and over a carpet

of breathing pink petals and think of


all the places i have lived;

all the places i have loved.


i think of all of the grace-gifts:


laughter, love, moments together,

change, pain, pets, work, healing, play,


terror, longing, dreams, excitement, story,

music, art, panic, hope, crafting, change.


all of this somehow gets turned on its head,

fits into a ten-foot truck, moves down


the block and into a new set

of circumstances, circumvented.


some things travel well:


the cat; the books and

games behaving in their


crates; the rolled posters

and padded paintings.


other things are stubborn; they do not want to be moved:


the great white upright;

grandma’s formal dining table;


the parakeet;

the lava lamp.


some things cannot be moved, cannot be reinvented:


the six years of school days; the child-hood charts &

doodles on the door frames; the fort-corner; the kitchen island;


the cave-closet and sacred bathtub and holy dishwasher and

ringo the rat buried in the backyard that goes on forever.


i think of where the sidewalk ends, of where this life-span

twists and turns and comes out on the other side.


i think about how the next house could be the last one i share with my daughter.


i think about the four years of school days to come;

the continuing grace-gifts; the white dogwood


in front of the new house; the two white-tailed

deer come to greet us in the back.


i think about the marvel of a crucible —


how a house, home, heart

can hold so much.


upside down


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