they’ve told me what

a beautiful life this



sometimes I fail to see.


there are glimpses, I admit

it’s a slowly healing wound

excruciatingly slow

day by day by day


the world turned black and white

but one by one each little thing begins to brighten up



I woke yesterday and the sky was almost blue

a pale green periwinkle color

today it’s full and vibrant


my favorite red umbrella had been

gray for quite some time

the other day it turned red again

flipped like a switch

made me smile


I put on a black dress to go to church

and when I left the service it was pink



my car’s blinding yellow returned at a stoplight

no one seemed to notice, it happened

in a flash

and it shocked me


I know that those colors have always been there

but my eyes turned gray

couldn’t see anymore

the beauty that seemed to abandon me

on the side of the street

on the scalding pavement, burning the soles

of my feet

crying “why did you leave?”


YOU turned my world gray and black

but the meaning of hope is finding the color again

of my own free will and my own brute strength

and watching the anger slither back down the drain

where it belongs


little moments convince me the world is still good

and this life, though maybe not beautiful


is one worth living.


a boy I’d never seen carried my books for me

when I was about to buckle

under the weight

of the world.


an old woman in the drive thru

bought my coffee when I was scrambling

for quarters


that angsty musician in the coffee shop

sang the words that I desperately

needed to hear

I didn’t know that I felt them

‘til they were voiced and shoved

down my unprepared ears


even just a smile with the strange dog-walker

with the crooked glasses and the mom jeans

showed me that kindness is real and not everyone

wants to break me


it was one too many pebbles

on a shaky stack

came crumbling down on my uncovered head

they said it was brain injury, but it went straight to my heart


now I see that I can rearrange

and realize that I am worth it.

it didn’t hit me like a car collision or make itself blaringly obvious

like a solar eclipse


it crept up on me like another new year’s day

or my sister turning thirteen

things I thought were so far away but are suddenly here

and it’s time

it’s time.


time to say “I forgive” and cut all the ties

all the strings that I wrapped and tangled around those words

and let them be what they are

a vessel of my letting go.


hope is a thing that can’t be forced

down my throat

can’t be yelled in my ear by

friends with the best of intentions

can’t be crammed into a day

or broken down into tiny jagged pieces to fit

in my counselor’s perfectly-proportional box


it must be discovered by a humble heart

that’s done fighting for the wrong side

and is ready to wage a war against the dark.