sipping gentle medicine…

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Sometimes I wrestle  should I tone down the joy,
put a lid  on it because it might seem to disrespect
the pain that blanches another soul scraped on the thorns of living,
or heap on heavier the despair
or maybe just annoy like a fly
or a trite quip when someone is grieving.

I feel it too,  the ache,
my own life rocky with disappointment so sharp
that I hold it white-knuckled,  the word I chose
(my word for this year ~ anyway)
and it’s because of that heart-limp that I dig my heels in stubborn
and choose to joy all the more.

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I want to notice the flecks of softness shining in hard places
and drop quickly down,  cupping the dirt
and let it hold my gaze
until it strengthens what goes wobbly in me,
because joy is strong medicine
and when you hold her up to the light
she has the look of her mother,
courage,

and that’s why I search through the crowd for it,
make space for it,
circle it defiant,   protective,
as if it were a baby seal
stalked by men with clubs
intent on claiming it’s hide,

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because  I don’t want to let the harsh glare of living
force my eyes shut to the beauty
or steal away my joy;
it’s the gentle tug of healing balm that keeps this love alive.

I want to help grow your joy,  too,
so I’m having a giveaway this week,
some handmade joy-tending art
and handwritten love from me to you
Just leave a comment and you’re in to win.
i’ll draw a name next Easter Monday.  with joy:)

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“First,  I would like to write for you a poem
to be shouted into the teeth of a strong wind…”
-Carl Sandburg