How are you?

I’m fine.

“How are you?”

I ask,

and they go on and on and on.

I didn’t really want to hear the response–

just wanted it to be asked back to me.

So I listen, trying to feign attention,

waiting for my turn

to be asked and to respond

because I have something to say,

but I can’t say it yet.

And maybe I

am a terrible person

for using this conversation

solely as a way to talk about me.

And here I go again,

thinking about myself

rather than listening to their answer.

Their voice is droning–

no, mind, stop that.

They are just talking,

just like I asked them to.

And I am waiting for my turn.

The answer lasts and lasts

until they glance at their phone,

my, they lost track of the time.

They thank me for the conversation,

apologize for the abrupt ending,

say that they are going to be late.

They wish me farewell,

then they walk away.

That night in the mirror

I ask,

“How are you?”

But I can’t stand the asker

and I can’t stand the answer,

so I just walk away.

Photo by Arley Bateca from Pexels


You Are

YOU are

you are an answer

you are a solid foundation
you are the turbulent sea, threatening to pull me under
you are a delicate butterfly wing
you are the ax used to chop down the sturdiest oak
you are a humble disciple
you are the queen of the land
you are a tear streaming down my cheek
you are the laugh bubbling from a baby’s lips
you are a strong, rhythmic pulse of a heartbeat
you are the silent stillness of a pine forest
you are an authority
you are the rule breaker
you are an empty, abandoned house
you are the chalice overflowing with wine

you are the question

you are

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger

Can Peonies Open Without Ants?

What is wonder?

As a child I believed that the continents floated above the ocean, like gigantic earthy boats on the surface of the water. I thought that if you swam far enough out into the ocean, you would eventually arrive at a dramatic drop off where the continental plate ended and you could find the water beneath. More than that, I thought that with a lot of effort, I could be the first human to swim all the way underneath the USA from the east coast to the west coast.

I am older and wiser now. I know that the US is not just floating on water, ready to be swum under. I also know that the tectonic plates are on top of a liquid, just not one that humans can breaststroke through. There is still a magic and an insight to my original understanding, even if it was ultimately wrong.

My world didn’t change dramatically when I learned about the layers of Earth. I didn’t lose my child-like wonder in that moment. If anything, I just had new things to wonder about.

What does the area where it shifts from mantle to crust look like? Will we ever be able to dig down to the core? How do we know about all of these layers if we can’t dissect the earth the way it’s depicted in the graphics that show these layers?

The world is a never-ending stream of questions, of misunderstandings, and of corrections.

I grew up hearing the old wive’s tale that peonies require ants to open their flowers. Until yesterday, I didn’t realize that this was a wive’s tale; I had assumed that it was a scientific fact that peonies require ants to nibble away at their buds in order to bloom. I am constantly being proven wrong. I am constantly learning and growing.

Photo by Irina Iriser from Pexels