Courage This Day

Not long ago, in a fit of nostalgic insomnia, I was searching through some books tucked away in my childhood bedroom, and I found this poem, which was written by a woman named Edith Kent Battle. It resonated so clearly with me and my daily thoughts and prayers, so I thought I would share.

This is my prayer this week.


A Poetic Blast from the Recent Past…

A few months ago, while fighting boredom in a session of forced concentration, I wrote two poems. Now I think I will share them…

Poem #1: What is Stress?

What is stress?

an aching between the disks in my lower spine as I twist, sitting far too long in my desk chair

a throbbing at the temples

low battery power

a furrowed brow

a day in the life of melodramatic teenagers

not being sure how to spend your meager time

having a house full of guests and no ice


realizing that there is no toilet paper. . . or tissues

an attempt to express busy-ness as mere emotion

stepping in a puddle in canvas shoes

a nightlight

the flu

a deadline passed unnoticed


a kid in crisis

impromptu observations

being in the middle

This is stress.

Poem #2: Math Wrath

Math is worse than torture

or plague; black death and hell.

Being stuck out in a scorcher . . .

inside a dried up well.

When walking near the math wing

my skin breaks out in hives

kids who love this math thing

should re-assess their lives.

My math teacher just hates me.

With endless rows of tasks

she taunts, provokes, and baits me

with each question she asks.

I love . . .

I love the iridescent glow of mid-morning sunshine as it illuminates the white slats of my shutters.
I love the stillness of the woods after dinner.
I love discovering small treasures that others have overlooked in their bustle and rush.
I love the feel of a new word as it leaves my mouth.
I love the smell of Dad’s wallet when he throws it on the counter at the end of a long day; pocket lint, car oil, and old dollar bills.
I love the widening of young eyes as they light in comprehension.
I love long phone conversations with my siblings, spending hundreds of words of quality time.
I love playing in the torrential downpour of late summer, dripping water from the planes of my face while impressive claps of thunder rumble in the background.
I love knowing that I do not need to rush out when my bed is indulgently cozy.
I love singing at the top of my lungs until my voice feels rough with use.
I love the smell of fresh baked bread wafting out of a toasty kitchen.
I love hearing my students attempt to out-wit each-others’ witty repartee in attempts to make me laugh.
I love how magnolias in bloom remind me of my bedroom windows in New York.
I love putting my arms around a loved one and letting them dry their tears on my shoulder.
I love the smell of quiet building sites in the spring, the pungent wealth of fresh earth intoxicating all passersby.
I love the soft stroke of a warm breeze through the window.
I love the warmth of light through my eyelids when I am drifting between awake and asleep.
I love the busy bustle of a happy crowd.
I love the perfume of lilacs tickling my senses in the dawn of springtime.
I love turning the fragile pages of a brittle book while the antique dealer watches me out of the corner of his eye.
I love being surprised for no reason at all; my favorite coffee, a new book to read, or maybe a written message hidden on my desk.
I love when my breath catches at the beauty of a harmonic blend.
I love the burst of a sweetness as I sneak a sun-warmed strawberry from the pailful to pop into my mouth.
I love my kitten’s pur thrumming through me as she settles next to my chest as I read.
I love hugs from my brothers, feeling safe, like I am little again.
I love sit-down dinners with dear ones, laughingly relaxed.
I love the soft scrape of my skate against the ice as I whirl across the rink with the wind kissing my cheeks.
I love turning in the final project and feeling the weight of task-responsibility roll off of my back.
I love the faraway view of Boston across the cliffs in Magnolia, like a faded piece of lace at the edge of a brilliant blue skyline.
I love nights so full of fireflies that it seems the sky is swirling about you as you stroll.
I love seeing both bowers  staring out from the cards in my hand for an important round of euchre, amid the easy camaraderie of friendly competition.
I love making the tired cashier smile at the end of the day.
I love stepping into a sparkling clean kitchen, knowing that all is well with my tiny domestic world.