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In a world where the daily news
becomes dread made manifest,
I struggle against desire
to be numb as driftwood,
my head turned to look
forever over my shoulder.

I try to remember
that no one teaches
the children how to smile,
that the stars overhead
never ask for attention,
we just naturally find them,

these beacons mere pinpricks
drawing arrows in the sky,
and each night somewhere
a lucky few might witness
the color of the Northern Lights,
billowing curtains, green and gold.

When I begin to feel haunted,
a perpetual autumn in my bones,
so much suffering broadcast
direct as a syringe into my veins,
I refuse to withdraw
my humanity,

I give the fingerless gloves
all my spare change,
I walk near a bakery
just to taste the warmth
of doughnuts on the air,
I go home and put my face

in my dog’s white fur,
I cling to the concept of hope,
of finding moments that allow
for the briefest of escapes,
where laughter still lives,
in spite of every reason
to be afraid.

Written by

Provocative truth teller, author of 14 poetry collections. Cat dad. Dog dad. Currently working from Portland, Oregon. Learn more at: .

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