even now


3 a.m

still can’t sleep

i’ve been crying

so hard my

pillow has no dry side.


i read again mary oliver’s

poem ‘wild geese’

that rests permanently

on my night table.

‘you do not have to be good’

writes mary


i try to convince my young

inconsolable self that

this might be true but

she disagrees insisting

that our badness is

what drove jane away

last christmas

taking the dog

along with her now broken

promise of a lifetime

of protection.

“i just want to feel safe”

i whispered out loud to no one

staring at the ceiling praying

to the stain in the grain of the wood

that looks like jesus.