Stepping Stones, part 1

i am fourteen years old. the year is two thousand and four. my mom is away visiting my grandpa. he has cancer. he will not live much longer. i am feeling so alone. i miss my mom. i have already decided not to return to public school this year. it is August. i am sitting alone on the porch. there are no walls; it has not become my bedroom yet. i see a small piece of broken plastic in the dirt. it is sharp. i am sharp; if anyone gets close to me my anger and sadness will cut them. i pick the plastic up. i press it into my flesh, near my knee. i drag it against my skin again and again. i am bleeding. i lie when asked what happened. scraped myself on something. it was an accident.


i am seventeen years old. the year is two thousand and seven. my parents drove me to Burbank. we carried my things up to my third floor dormitory. at some point my dad cries. he does not want me to leave home. he has held on too tightly and i’ve been afraid to leave because i don’t want to break his heart. but at the same time i am angry at him because i want to be allowed to spread my wings and fly. i want to stop being his emotional crutch.


i am eighteen years old. the year is two thousand and eight. i meet a boy. he is really sweet. i tell myself i do not want a boyfriend. i want to be just friends with this boy. in a week’s time he will be my boyfriend.

daisy chain and hairpins

some say the drive takes an hour
but i know you can make it
in just thirty minutes
because you did it
at 1 something in the morning
i was yelling from the bathroom
telling it you it was time to go
you memorized every hairpin turn
and knew just how fast
to take them and still be safe
but today i head up the mountain
because i finally got invited
to hang with the siblings
and i wonder how long it will take
for us to reach
our destination

In response to Reach.

the forest and everything in between

in 16 years we’ll take the trip
the lower 48, maybe lower Canada,
and upper Mexico
me, you, and Indie
a little Gypsy wagon hitched up behind

you’ll be in your late 30s
me, early 40s
each have a birthday on the road,
but still plenty young for adventure
show me Portland, i’ll show you everything

*In response to Journey.

it might have started in a Ford Explorer, but probably not…

for me the journey started five Septembers ago

R first knew we were expecting someone
when i threatened to vandalize Starbucks

i wouldn’t admit it was true until i peed on a stick
we sat and waited on a little pink plus sign

and there it was

i still didn’t believe it for a while
not until i heard his heartbeat for the first time

as he turns four in a day or two
i still don’t believe it some days

who let me take this precious human home?
who thought it was okay to trust me with a life?

J is like his father
like a twin is like his brother

speaking of twins, sometimes i’m sure T has one,
a sister, if so, i know we’ll meet her in Heaven

by the way, R first suspected number two too
before i would admit it

we were on a date (a rarity for us, regretfully)
and i couldn’t eat my pasta, aversion to tomatoes again

this time it was a blue line, different brand

and now i am forever a mother of two, perhaps three,
precious souls who have brown eyes and birthday marks