She woke up out of the darkness,
eyes snapping open,
she saw.

Her breath came out in tiny gasps,
heart pounding, scared,
she sighed.

She reached across her body,
and put out the fiery alarm,
she touched.

She hid beneath her warm sheets
and last night’s shampoo,
she smelled.

She padded downstairs in bare feet
to fetch some breakfast,
she tasted.

With a smile, she turned on the radio,
beautiful news burst forth,
she heard.

She believed.


How far would I go to see your smile?
to know you’re here with me,
to go with you for another mile
and not leave. No, I don’t want to leave.

How far would I go to hear your laugh?
to know we won’t end here,
to be reassured we’re not just chaff
blowing away. I’ll miss you, my dear.

How hard would I try to hold on longer?
to pretend not to know how to fly,
to stay with you, grow stronger together,
and not speak. Friend, please don’t cry.

How hard would I try to see you again?
to know that we can start right where we left,
to know that distance can’t stop real friends,
because that’s us. You’re the best.

Have I mentioned this?


At the threshold of something new,
the world seems so big
and empty
all at once.

Standing in the doorway of change,
a chapter behind,

There’s a wide purple expanse
above your head,
and it

It falls into your arms and smiles,
because it knows
you’ll be

But right here, in this moment,
it all feels
much too

Their Stories

I’m walking through a sea of memories,
each one with a story
each one with a song
each with one with a

The flowers and flags
tell parts of the saga:
turning pages in the wind
and whispering secrets
I’ll never understand.

Something makes me turn around,
and I see a crowd
watching me.

They’re waiting for my reaction:
am I courageous?
am I strong?
am I bold?


Not like these.

Not like these who stood tall
with their backs to their loved ones,
gun shots in their ears,
smoke in their eyes,
death in the fingertips,

love in their hearts.

The Last Thing

I saw you fade away
before my very eyes
and wondered why
you couldn’t live another day.

Everything you said
each laugh, each breath
now swallowed in death,
and you’re already far ahead.

I know you’re okay now
you aren’t in pain,
there’s no more shame,
but I still miss your mischievous brow.

I don’t know what I last told
you before you left my arms,
but it wouldn’t do any harm
to once again be so bold

As to say

I love you.

A Toast to Mama

She held me in her arms from the moment I was born. She kissed me, hugged me, and patched up what was torn. Every day she carried me, as God had carried her. Every day she sang to me, and held my hand on the shore.

She built me up and broke through my walls. She taught me what it meant to stand courageous and tall. When I came home crying she smoothed back my hair. When I couldn’t sleep at night, she was always there.

She taught me by the grace of God, how to love my friends. She taught me that death is not a period, and death is not an end. She disciplined me graciously to walk in Christ’s own light. She gave me a song, a melody, and taught me how to write.

She never left my side even when I felt like leaving hers. She stayed through my rebellious phase till something in me stirred. She always led me back to Jesus, no matter what the cost. She was one of God’s chosen servants, to seek and help the lost.

She was and is my mother, the woman of God I admire most, and it’s in honor of her beautiful smile that I write this little toast. Here’s to the best, the one and only. Here’s to the mom God entrusted with my story.



completely, utterly broken.

these shards of glass I cannot hold

much longer

and they hurt

like an arrow in my chest

a shock

to my lungs

on a cold winter’s day.

this sharp intake of breath


draws my shoulders

and sketches a bell curve

from my head to my fingertips

like I’ve been



to a mere statistic

on your sheet of graph paper

in the back of your locker


that you never use


The Storm

I can’t hear the rain
and not think of you.
I’ve never felt this pain
in this part of my soul.
I don’t know what to do.

I can’t look into the eyes of the storm
and not picture the calm in yours.
I can’t stare into the piercing lightning
and not remember a mischievous twinkle.

The sky began to weep,
and it woke me from my sleep
so that I wept, too,
and struggled to comprehend
the facts I fought to deny.

But then the morning came,
and a song rose from the earth,
so that I sang, too,
and found myself smiling
because you were finally Home.

A Ball of Yarn

You reached into my heart

and drew it out like a ball of yarn.

You found the end immediately,

though I’d tried hard to hide it


You began to unravel me,

plucking out every piece of dirt

and every dustball from the brown wool

that had sat beneath my bed for so long.


You looked into my inmost being

and sorted through all the mess.

You found someone worth loving

even when I’d tried to run from You


In sickness and in health You carried me

far and wide on Your journeys,

showing me miracle after miracle

as you washed my wool white as snow.


Then one day You set me gently at Your feet

and began to pull my threads.

It hurt so much and I questioned Your goodness,

but I was so shortsighted.


After much pulling, tying, and stretching,

You placed me on Your lap and whispered to me.

And I saw how beautiful I’d become

at my Creator’s fingertips.

Waiting to Be Heard

This is the second in a series of poems I’m writing about the diversity of mankind, God’s creation. I don’t believe in colorblindness. There are beautiful reasons why each of us hails from the ethnic/cultural group that we do. The uniqueness of each human appearance reflects the greatness and glory of God, because we are all made in His image.


She stood at the edge of an ocean tide,
feeling the water dance
around her toes.
She felt the sand tickle
the soles of her feet, and
smiled a fleeting glimmer of amusement.

She was waiting.

They promised her freedom,
then spat in her face.
They promised her happiness,
then broke her heart.
They promised her refuge,
then sent her away.

She lifted her head and straightened
as the luminous moon gave her
stare for stare and, regardless
of the scarf around her hair,
it loved her.

She had waited for a long time.

They gave her a new start,
by spoiling her hope.
They gave her rights,
by stripping them away.
They gave her acceptance,
by turning their back on her people.

She closed her eyes and dimly saw
the other side, the other people
but she couldn’t join them
because they shunned her scarf
They shunned her voice.

She was still waiting.