I came to this town with nothing
But a dandelion bouquet from my grandmother
And hope for the community I could build
A weed & a wish
More than I had at 16. More than
Enough to cultivate my name


I left to find something I'll probably never name
A newness called and I came
There was no plan
Until suddenly, the life I hadn't chosen
Wasn't asking to be claimed


We couldn't have known what living was like
How each moment would offer itself
Over & over
The burnt coffee &
The burnt coffee &
The burnt coffee & then!
This new flavor, some bright note, still burnt
But a revelation
Every day after
Whole lifetimes, whole worlds between
We didn't have those words
Had to unlearn the languages we inherited


I dug in. Sunk my hands to the wrist
In Tennessee red clay. My wedding,
I planned it. My home,
I enriched it. My man,
I pushed him, fueled him, watched
In awe as he grew to fill each space
I couldn't reach


We don't talk about a past
We are here now
We don't talk about an end
We are here now
We couldn't have guessed
The shape this moment would take
The shape we had to sculpt
So the moment would fit
Family hikes
New restaurants on Fridays
A homestead so bright
The stars seemed dull beside
We wouldn't have wanted to know
What would challenge us
To not push against the bounds
Of our separate selves
As they struggle
With this cleaving


I'm gonna love you forever
Forever & ever, amen

But dammit woman
Gimme a day to rest
Or, okay, how bout this—
I'll hang the shelves
While you save the world
But tomorrow
I'm brewing a new beer:
Lemon verbena for your morning tea, my Bear

For the foul weather
We endured, sometimes invited

Lemon peel & saison yeast for the spring

We're always calling, a vow
We get to renew, this possibility
We build each day, the best
We can bring to each other

Here, where the moment is so slippery
Always falling into what now we call the past
Or dissolving into what we might call hope
We dug a garden into this love
So something might anchor


Lord help me, I can't do it all
Can't give another Saturday to this job
And hold the chickweed at bay
Can't take coffee in bed
And can the preserves
And write another cover letter
And dig out some justice
For my corner of the city and
I can't believe

We want to bring
A baby into this world


I can't believe I could want to

Give up what we know

Would be able to

Confront enough of the fear
With belief & stubbornness

I never thought I'd find a place
Where I could see my vastness and name it
And your vastness and name it

Both things together as true & equal

I don't know what challenges lie ahead
But I'm with you
All this, I bring to you
How crazy that

We're still growing this idea of us

I guess

We never arrive
We are always becoming

for Brandon & Shannon, on their 10th anniversary

  • The title of this poem comes from the Keith Jarrett song of the same name.
  • Brandon & Shannon were married on , at which ceremony I read a… less fully realized poem. To commemorate the occasion of their 10th anniversary, Shannon requested I write this poem in January of that year. As you can see from the timestamp in the footer of this page, I finished my final edits the morning of, just before heading to their house for a small ceremony.