Two harrowing years
of billowing loss–
yet so many gains
have placated across
this crazy life of mine,
for many I have lived–
a roving jewel
like Katie Cruel
and an immigrant.

I’ve seen the Colosseum,
long past the Ides of March,
Cornish waves along the shoreline,
and an Imperial, Triumphant Arch.
I’ve beheld the standing and rebuilding
years after World War II
of both infrastructures and people
and what resiliency can do.
I cannot account for all the beauty
that my eyes have seen,
but one of the most riveting ones
came on March 4, 2017.

It was an Apache Saturday,
but not like my childhood ones,
where in the distance when we played,
you could hear the tribal drums.
Where I was in a Mo Betta, hand-sewn shirt
that my grandmother had made,
somehow connecting me to the prairie–
like a cowgirl in settlement days.

We laid in bed together–
her in immeasurable amounts of pain.
We listened to tapes of hymnals,
and she mustered the strength and sang.
Grandpa came in every 15 minutes
and laid his head on her beating heart.
Quivery, she reassured him,
“You are my sweetheart.”
62 years of friendship
joy, anger, tears, and affection
were boiled down into a moment
of indescribable, human-bond perfection.

If you’ve never got to observe
two people saying goodbye,
reaffirming their connection
because one is about to die,
then my future wish for you–
as crazy as this might sound–
is that you will get experience this.
The beauty and truth are beyond profound.
On that Apache Saturday,
I witnessed what love should be.
Here’s to Oscar Riley and Sonia Lou.
You gave that reality to me.

To all my friends and loved ones,
moving forward in unfolding years,
it’s not about the winning.
Gains usually come wrapped in tears.
I have prayers and wishes for you.
I hope your love runs deep and wide,
your connections are enduring and true.
and you have peace where you abide.
Tis not about a year’s end–
for ends make no difference at all–
it’s in the beauty of each moment,
rising in love no matter the fall.