Here are my hands

There’s something empty
About this American Amnesia we’re fed
This forgetting
Quietly whispered in our ears
There’s something empty

About waking up in the morning
With the dull ache, the glimpses here and there
Reminding you back to you but
There are so many more voices
Saying “forget, forget”
And distance has always been a good excuse
To scroll past one more destruction
I can’t handle the reality of that.

Sandra Bland’s mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, said “When the cameras and lights are gone, our babies are dead.”

She said, “by a show of hands, can any of you tell me the other six women who died in jail in July 2015 along with Sandra Bland? No? You are among the walking dead.”

How do we resist
This slow descent
This covering and covering
The sadness in our bones,
We were created to care
And to hurt
When our neighbor hurts
But how do we remember who we are
On such haunted land?

How do we sing our song in this haunted land?
Without succumbing to empire lullabies–and maybe
it’s too much.


I wanted to write you
My most epic love poem
Because I wanted to tell you
How beautiful I think you are

But I didn’t succeed
Because it was hard
And maybe all I can really give
Is my incomplete poem

Saying, “Here are my hands”

What’s in your hands?

And can I tell you how beautiful you are?
I see no way out when I look this way
But when I look at you, I feel infinite
I feel the beyond beyond.

I wanted to sing the most healing song
But maybe it’s enough
To at least start singing

There are still beautiful things happening, like trees
Slowly growing towards the sun,
Babies being born, bread shared,
Truthful conversations that hurt and then cleanse.

I refuse to be the walking dead.

Do you remember that movie “The Land Before Time?”

Its theme song came to mind the other day
And almost made me cry
(which isn’t hard)
But it’s so true
And so much deeper and more difficult
Than it seemed when I was 8.

Don’t lose your way
With each passing day
You’ve come so far
Don’t throw it away


Live believing
Dreams are for keeping
Wonders are waiting to start.


If we hold on
I  know our dreams will never die

But as Rilke said
For one human being to love
Another human being:
That is perhaps the most difficult
Task that has been entrusted to us,
The ultimate task,
The final test and proof,
The work for which all other work is merely preparation.
And then

Love is not a vict’ry march
It’s a cold and it’s a broken

Will you love me in this haunted land?

Will you sing your song, any song?

Will you share your unfinished poem?

Will you hold on?

Here are my hands.



She kept looking. His eyes might have reflected some faraway place she’d dreamed of but never believed.

Don’t forget that we exist.

She hoped with every ounce of her being that he’d give more information. She’d always dreamed of knowing. Just a moment ago she’d been shocked to find this stranger in her home. She’d been terrified. She’d almost had him eliminated for good.

“Are you coming with me or what?” he asked, standing up to leave. “It’s up to you. People are depending on you, especially the children. Please understand the life and death impact of your decision. But please also know you have to choose.”

She looked at her husband, sitting comfortably in their love seat, staring back at her. He seemed calm, as if a stranger hadn’t just told her that he was her brother and that he’d come to bring her back to her people. Did he understand what was happening? Had he already known about this?

“I just don’t understand how this is possible. How am I needed? Is there a real place to go? I’ve never believed in a real place to go.”

He looked at her, triggered and impatient. “Can I just take you there?”

But I don’t trust you.

He looked down at the floor and then lifted his head. “For once, if this is suddenly taken away from you thoughtlessly — if someone refuses to see it or cuts your story at its knees, the same exact thing will be happening to me. And I’ll echo that back to you. I see you. I’m your brother. We’re family.”

Her body shook as she held out her hand (that’s what happens when she catches the spirit).