dear michael

Dear Michael

Can I call you Mike?

Turn down your wind a minute and listen to me

This is important

I know many Mikes

None like you

You confuse me

Why did you come here? What did you want? What are you trying

Never mind

I’ve figured it out

You’ve given me time to think in the dark

Thank you for that

I owe you an apology

You heard me right

I hated you

You’ve taken lives

You’ve stolen from so many

People I know

People I love


I’m not mad anymore

I want to thank you

Because of you

I spent a day with my precious niece in a car shade fort

She’s so smart it’s scary

Mornings are her favorite

Just like me

We made a bubble dance

She read me a book

She loves jingle bells

Why did I wait so long?

Because of you

I sat in the home of an artist I know

And she sat in mine

I call her friend but we were not close

I learned of her life and she learned of mine

She focused my thoughts through her way of seeing the world

I passed her words on to others
they’ve carried us through

Why did I wait so long?

Because of you

A father of a friend slept in my home

I’ve known this man for 24 years yet had never spoke

Not about things that matter

He made fun of my beer and we talked of his youth

Why did I wait so long?

Because of you

I prayed with a stranger at Walmart near soap

It was awkward at first

My prayers so old I’d forgotten the words

But when she asked I couldn’t say no

When I came to her aisle

She seemed too cheerful for one wearing a vest so blue

Her smile big and voice cheerful

Her eyes gave her away

I asked how she was and then the dam broke

She lost her home

We fumbled with new dumb phones slippery from tears

Hers and mine

She reminded me of my students

We now text to check in

Why did I wait so long?

Because of you

I see clearly through eyes washed with tears

Because of you

Strangers are neighbors

Neighbors are friends

Friends are family

Family is wealth

Because of you

Hugs are longer

Eyes meet and hold

I may hate you again as the loss lingers on

But for today

I see the gifts

Because of you



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