Southern Backroads (a poem)

Sometimes I think of our love
as though it’s an old Southern backroad
You’re in the driver’s seat
my feet are on the dash
The roads are curvy and dictate our speed
sometimes we take them slow, sometimes fast
At times they’re the straightest path
with fields of corn on either side
There are moments of fear
but also moments of pure joy
Those old Southern backroads
can go on forever, with no end in sight
Many times you ride those roads
with your most trusted companion
Those Southern backroads are an adventure like none other
and it’s only you I want by my side.

Cooking with Rachel (a poem)

For Rachel Forth

The summer days are long and there’s still light outside

when we roll the dough and dance in the kitchen while

making stromboli – you lead the way, but teach me too –

you make it like it’s second-nature to you, a true cook,

and I’m your student – all I can make is scrambled eggs.

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Love is a Type of Water

As a child, at least as a child growing up heavily in church as I did, you are taught to memorize verse after verse. I remember most of the verses, even if it’s not word-for-word and the exact location. I can hold my own in an intellectual, biblical conversation. Its one of the things I’m most proud of about myself.

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Pray for You

Prayer has always been a major part of my life. I remember kneeling next to my bed as a little girl to pray. I even loved when I was old enough to lead my family in our dinner prayers, which sometimes felt like a sermon because I got lost on tangents and just love talking (even to God)!

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Me and Pops

Like many people, I’ve been isolated since early March. I live with my grandfather and, when everything first started, we were annoying each other a lot. Lately, as we’ve settled into the routines and rhythms of isolation, I’ve begun to cherish this time we’re spending together.

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To my Southern Belle

Dear Rachel,

I met you during a troubled time in my life. Most of the times of my life (thus far) have been troubled, though I always keep pushing forward.

Relationships scare me – you know that. I’m afraid I’ll hurt you, like I’m holding your heart in my hands each day. It’s been less than a year, and I have hurt you already, and you helped me to see that maybe that’s just a part of this thing called love: the knowing that it will hurt sometimes, but we can forgive each other and keep moving forward, living in the present moment, and building a life together.

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Grief, One Year Later

In the years leading up to my father’s death, I’d been preparing for it. He was diagnosed with cancer a decade ago and, since then, his health slowly, but surely, deteriorated.

When it comes to grief, I learned no amount of mental preparation will suffice. Sure, I’d seen grandparents pass away, but this was different: this was my dad, the man who I both loved and at times loathed.

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Bridge

Going over the bridge to South Philly as a kid, I worried it would collapse. I had no reason for the fear, it was just there. The sports stadiums stood to the left, and the Navy Yard sprawled to our right. My father had the window down and the cool air blew against my face, as well as the cigarette smoke.

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