Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I wrote this poem at a time when I was rich with hope, tempered with caution, but still, rich with hope. It's not easy to place yourself in the hands of another, and sometimes you learn and grow from your worse fear.
I know I speak in double talk sometimes. i do that because it's a failed relationship I can't find the right words for. But at the time I wrote this, I was rich with hope...
I’d like to be funny tonight.
Sit in my favorite chair,
Across from you, grinning,
And tell you stories
That start with glee and end with awesome.

I’d like to lean over and
Touch your knee
So you know I am present
As surely as I sit before you.

I’d like to know how you feel
On vacation and at work
And on Sunday mornings
When you read the New York Times.

I’d like to watch your mind
Dance down the street of curiosity
And stop at the curb
Where that lucky penny finds you.

I’ll listen to your stories
Into the night,
Even of the time you eloped
Only to find your mistake
Under the Las Vegas sheets

My eyes will follow you
Into the doorways and along the pathways
And I will nod with empathy
And the commonality of approval.

I can do all these things
As sincerely as I breathe
Because I was given this gift
Long long ago.

I’d like you to know
I keep secrets and honor wishes,
Even the dark ones,
And even when I’m bribed.

So when you slip on your coat
to take your leave
I’d like to think
We both heard you well.

And because there are two of us,
Listening requires
The unveiling of
my own footprints in the squeaky sand.

Tell you who I am? That is harder.
I can tell you why.
It starts with a fact that startles me still:

I can tell you everything
But I will not know
if you see me strong and clear
Or dazed and fragile.

I’ve been apologizing for both and either
Most of my life
And that is a confused place
Not found on any map.

Here’s how it goes:
If you tell me I am strong and confident
I will tell you back--
No, please know I am sensitive,
I cry and fold in two
When I have no back door

And if you tell me I am sensitive
I will be speechless,
Apologizing for a weak defense
And readying to watch you walk away.

It’s not that I don’t know myself:
I cry over love
And when dogs whimper,
And nobody would say I was unkind.

I take to the streets
When integrity’s at stake
And I hide under the bed
When I bite my lower lip
In anticipation of a harsh word or deed.

I am confident and sensitive.
Strong and insecure.
Wise and weak.
Tiny and tall.
That’s what it is.
And yet
I cannot tell you why this fact
Decks me until I finally

Relax for the count
Or rise for the occasion.



  1. This is absolutely beautiful, at the end you describe the complexity of a person, that we can be both sensitive and strong and yet, say we are not sensitive when told that we are (because we fear appearing weak)! did that make sense?

    much love!

  2. If the understanding behind the words are the gift given from the relationship then the pain endured was worth it.

  3. Certainly a friendship poem kj, just think of someone else when you read it.

  4. stacey, thank you. you 'got' it alright!

    mark, dammit, of course you're (PROBABLY)right. dammit! :)

    baino, like, i could think of you...

  5. Wow kj now that is some incredible writing. Boy can you ever tell when things come from the heart can't you?

    My Dad and you would be rolling on the floor with laughter. He would have loved you.

    Love Renee xoxo

  6. "I’d like to watch your mind
    Dance down the street of curiosity
    And stop at the curb
    Where that lucky penny finds you."

    This, to me, is magical writing ;)


  7. you are so good at putting words to the complexities of being human

  8. You are very well loved for all the right reasons.

    Love Renee xoxo

  9. Beautiful. The prose is measured and haunting, the imagery powerful. Particularly, I think, because you tell us at the start that this relationship, one that obviously meant so very much to you, is over now.

  10. Wow. Beautiful. I'm speachless. Or wordless....

  11. A beautiful poem, KJ, written by a beautiful soul. It's her loss.

    Hugs and love,

  12. kj, that is the most honest poem! It's true we can be all things at all times, and frindship understands; it empathizes, as you said. This is an incredibly honest, sensitive, human, compassionate poem, and I love it. How lucky is the friend on the other side of these words!

  13. i have to say the comments here mean alot and are from some of my favorite people on the planet....

    renee, i think the trick with the heart is to let it be wide open and full but fortified by steely resolve and strength when needed...
    about your dad, renee, not a doubt in the world. i feel this bond with him already, and i will not forget this picture of him.

    ah lo, of course you picked out one of the stanzas i am most proud of. thank you very much, friend.

    suki, HAHAHA! i have a phd in the complexities of being human!

    renee, you are very well loved for all the right reasons...

    tessa, i've reread your comment several times. thank you very much. you understand it all and i appreciate that. xo

    deb, thank you very much. xo

    angela, i am channelling you one giant hug, receivable while you are standing in the middle of your kitchen. plus a tsup!

    margaret, wow, thank you. unfortunately my friend and i no longer share the parts that last. it's been very sad.

  14. WOW. Thats eloquent. I can hear Janis Ian singing it. :-)

    I mean its really good, and now I am even more flattered by the comment you left at the Treehouse...


    And straight to my Twinklestars list you go!

    Have a lovely weekend (I'll be pondering this piece on the back porch, if you need me...)

  15. The failure of the friendship in no way lessens those good things about you.

  16. I’d like you to know
    I keep secrets and honor wishes,
    Even the dark ones,
    And even when I’m bribed.

    A perfect stanza in the midst of relationship memories.

  17. Thanks for your very kind offer to visit kj. We're only there for ten days and have a full schedule so unfortunately we won't have a chance this trip. Maybe next time though! :)