Monthly Archives: June, 2022



Do not be afraid
of shifting rocks,

they will always exist,

take my hand,

plant one foot
as best you can,

don’t panic,

if the stones move,
find some balance,
then lift your other foot,

wait until it’s secure
before moving forward,

keep doing that
until you reach shore,

until you reach
the end of another day,

remove your boots,
dump out the muck,
the unwelcome stuff,

get some sleep,
then plan to wade through
another day tomorrow,

shifting rocks
are all around,

take my hand,
we’ll find our way together.

Picture was taken by my niece of her two young daughters with their grandfather (my brother)
at the Yellowwood State Forest Spillway in Indiana after a day of fishing.



Her hands plunge deep into the flower bed,
pulling out rocks,
breaking up clumps
of stubborn dirt,

her fingers hurt from household work,
the soreness easing while kneading
rich, affirming earth,

a respite from cooking, scrubbing, mending,
lending an ear to each child’s concerns,

she learns to take it all to the garden,
where her smiles and tears
mix with sprouting seeds,
her prayers lie down with iris bulbs,

her plants much like the children she’s borne,
each one unique, each one a treasure,
needing time and space to fully bloom,

in death, her labors were done,
yet the work of her hands carried on,

irises bloom from original bulbs
in the gardens her children now grow,

plunging their hands into welcoming earth,
they sense their sweet mother,
hear her kind words,

knowing they blossomed
alongside these bulbs,
alongside these seeds,

in ways she envisioned
so many long years ago.

This poem originated from a discussion I had with my friend (and park neighbor), Tanya Willett. The irises in the photo are now in Tanya’s garden but were originally planted by her mother at Tanya’s childhood home.