I am graced with dual lives: one in memory, one in present time.
The first is a life gratuitously given,
The second a life I give in return.
Both of my selves hold baskets: one flower-filled, one empty.
Every day my shadow self places a blossom
In the basket of reeds that my tangible self
Balances precariously with both hands.
Some blossoms are tart’n’orange with thorns tucked beneath their petals.
Others are powder-puff blue, barely more than a fragrance.
A few crumble into dust; most gentle to mauve’n’gray
Delicate as rice paper.
Someday one basket will empty, the other will fill with dust.
When I set my burden down, my shadow self
Will step back, dissolve into sunlight.
I will step forward—eager for whatever happens next.

Published in Poems