I believe in the soft, distracted smile

turning my way and the girl who

draws vines on her white Keds

in permanent marker.

I believe in stately trees and turning

pages beneath their boughs

with searching hands.

The adept hand signing, “hello”

when there are no words to be heard

or knitting colorful yarns on

telephone poles. I believe

in gardenias that bloom between

the alley and the sun, the sounds

of Cohen from someone’s kitchen.

I believe god

is held in the mouths

of philosophers and children:

that beliefs are dangerous without

love and art is an act of goodwill.

I believe in ethics and the

responsibility of leadership but even more

in the resiliency of the human spirit

like a ghostly pounding heart

as we sleep.

I believe in the spaces between:

in pauses and think-backs and could be’s,

especially in “perhaps” and

I believe in the dog’s paw

that smells like sugar cookies

now that we are family.

I believe we should be careful

of words like, “inconvenience.”

I believe in the storytellers and song-

makers and especially in grandmothers

watching mothers turn the page.

I believe in simplicity of

needs: the hand that must be

held and the mouth that

must be fed. And, the

needs that go untended,

the boy clutching his teddy

as he dreams.

I believe in the untenable

breadth of the universe

and the starlit dust

inbetween it all. I believe

‘god’ is in the trees

and the wave tumbling

towards the shore and

the eyes of strangers.

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