watching the fallen (revised)

nine-year-old girls aren’t
supposed to walk
in on their mother
losing her mind

they aren’t raised to
bear witness to the fallen
but she watched

and she knew her
mother would never
be the same

this became her gift
learning what to avoid

an adult before
her time

yet still engaged
to a world that
overlooks her and
neglects her efforts

she’s grown but not
mature enough to
understand the ways
of this world

“You can love someone
for years and never
truly know them.”

she thinks this to
herself often
is she giving too much
is she taking too much

who will accept
all of her knowing
she’s been through
hell and back

knowing she’s watched
the fallen and
has tried her
best not to fall too

only the courageous

I don’t know anyone
else who can make
me laugh and cry
uncontrollably in the
same conversation

you have a spirit that
will never give up
you’re a warrior
ancestors at your
beck and call,
assistance for every
attack

gifted, mighty words-worker
who turns sustenance
into art
you are before
your time, our time,
and the times ahead

it would be pointless
to simply say,
“I love you,”
I am blessed to breathe
the same air you
wheel into your
lungs

how can a world of
goodness dwell in
one person
this, I’ll never know
but I’m glad I
know you


For my beautiful friend, Heejin, who is everything amazing and so much more. This was my Valentine’s Day gift to her.

Heart Glow

you, figment of
beauty personified
have enriched the lives
of many, scaled
or cycled or unmatched

I love you with a force
that knows no
name
and carries no
regrets, you are a
gem–a diamond cut
perfectly

and you deserve to
be seen for the
glow in your heart.


For my best friend, Mook, written on Valentine’s Day as my gift to her. We’ve known each other now for almost 20 years and I am happy she’s in my corner.

Wolf Mother

you are stronger
than you know
the power behind
a well-worn broken
heart, you are
remarkable, glutinous, whole

I admire you
you’ve given half
of yourself to
two different people
and they’re growing into their own
beings

Mother wolf, deviser
of solid plans
meshed in mathematical
data, intellectual spirit

your eyes hold
timeless love and
I stand on sure footing
bound to hear the
re-emergence of sound
from each blink


This poem is for my friend Alexainie whom we call “Zainey”, written on Valentine’s Day. It is my gift to her for being in my life and loving me as she does.