Down in Tennessee (a poem)

I was eager to see Tennessee –

cigarettes were cheap, people moved slow +

we devoured fried chicken for breakfast –

never ventured into the country, stayed close

to anonymous highways + strip malls

that strip America of originality.

(Photo by Jeff Nissen on Unsplash)

Autumn in the Smoky Mountains (a photo)

This looks like an awfully nice backdrop for a wedding, right? Well, that’s exactly what it was in October 2019 when Rachel’s brother got married. I got to hang with Rachel’s family during that trip to Tennessee.

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Adjusting to the ‘New Normal’

Here we are, nearly four months into the pandemic. The whole thing has been a very strange experience, for all us. It’s been a shared experience across the planet, though some countries have managed it better than others. I’m learning that the ability to adapt is so important.

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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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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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