courage coursing 

in vulnerability I find no comfort 

in attention I find no glory


run into shadowed shade cover 


in whisper of the unnoticed 


keeping strength 

in my own blood vessels 


in my own ailments 


in my own hand 

I stand to two feet 


if by chance I reach 

I stand in spotlight 


met with slap 

back of wrist reddened 


back of neck blistered

I shrink back 


away from Hurt’s possibilities 

away from Rejection’s recourse 

I retreat to my own courage 

coursing through these deep veins 

leading to my tender heart 

in touch to others remembering 

every story has wounds 

and worries 

and wonders 

and wishes 

of the lost 

like mine


paint me in gold leaf 

gilding my common earthenware being 

with a touch of special 

we all hope to be special 

when we see that from another 

someone who has covered us 

in a layer of metallic 

sees us shining brighter 

than our plain stoneware reality 

we gasp in appreciation 

grateful that someone has seen value in us 

astonished at an aura 

we never knew we had 

and when they go 

or their eyes no longer squint 

at the golden shimmer of us 

we only wish 

to again be painted 

in the gold leaf of yesteryear

heart therapy

some times 

when a heart breaks 

she just wants to 

share the quiet with you 

have you listen to her tears 

(that soak her sheets) 

hear her risks 

(of trying yet failing) 

and advise her 

(before the quiet ends) 

that one day 

someone will 

believe enough in her,

understand enough of her,

and risk his battered heart 

for her