there was a time, long ago
when i thought it was wasn’t worth it
this living thing

so hard to catch my breath
standing in one place slackjawed, staring
forcing, willing myself – one step, then another
finally achieving the second floor

but why did i come up here?
something about cleaning or laundry or
taking a nap instead – then be up all night writing
ceiling fan whirling overhead my only company

But this morning I woke up and was alive all day
Wrote letters, paid some bills
Crafted poems, worked on my blog
Went outside for an actual walk

My neighbor was mowing her lawn
The scent filled me with memories of our yard when I was a kid
Lying in the grass next to the wildflower riot
of the Back Forty, past the carefully mown grass

Queen Anne’s Lace, milkweed, sumac
Timothy grass, pussywillows, wild lilac trees
Black-eyed Susans swaying flirtatiously
As a light rain fell in a rainbow mist

The colors of the yard after the shower let up
Golden light cast stark afternoon shadows
Grass glowed lemon-lime
The indomitable magnolia bush was ablaze

I lay on my belly
Inspecting Indian Paintbrush and
Wild violets, small miracle of
Haphazard, brilliant, fulsome Nature

We could leave our bikes in anybody’s yard
Dogs belonged to all of us, and we belonged to them
Everything seemed possible then
And today, it still does

When the dark days hit
I accept them for what they are
I am familiar by now with the depths
I can see in the dark, dimly

I cannot smell the fresh-cut grass
From that distant place
I can’t roll in wildflowers
Those things are out of reach, cut off

But not forever – it only feels that way
Hang out hang in hang on
It will slough off like snake skin
Scaly, dead, useless

And I will emerge reborn
Senses awakened, songs of life
Reverberating, a chord struck
From deep within

© Amy Barlow Liberatore, 2010, Sharp Little Pencil