It seems as if

I am forgetting how to be gentle

how to be less madness, more

lavender wick candles, farm-fresh eggs, dog-eared pages of leather-covered Bibles, newborn kittens, off-key Christmas Eve carolers, dimpled baby hands wrapping
around larger pinky fingers, chocolate chip brownie batter, past-midnight waltzing
under overhead kitchen lights, country homes with front porch swings, weeping
willow trees, migrating swarms of monarchs, city cats peering out of city windows,
calm of a raging late-August thunderstorm, memorized prayer, first touches shared by
new lovers, good news brought to hospital waiting rooms, successful surgeries, first
tube of mascara for the middle-school girl desperate to grow up, every constellation
newly discovered by ancient telescope, grass-stained knees on patchwork jeans, the
first-ever memory I can recall, rom-com happy endings, the perfect fit of a thrifted
prom dress, handmade friendship bracelets you keep on in the chlorinated pool,
childhood family vacations, reminders that you love me scrawled on Post-It notes,
worn out teddy bears put through the wringer of time, waxing and waning moons,
the will to every way, proof of miracles, Mom’s apple pie, every delicious summer.

Take me back

home to these small


of tenderness

in a mad,

mad world.

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