I Mailed A Letter Today

I Mailed A Letter Today

I mailed a letter today,
I wrote it just for you.
The words were traced with gray-green ink,
It’s still my favorite hue.

I pasted in a poem,
The kind I knew you’d save.
Full of loss and hope and bitter tears,
And the love he wished he gave.

I wrote about the time,
We laughed beneath the trees.
While autumn winds and winter snows,
The leaves began to tease.

I tucked a teabag inside too,
From all those endless nights.
When we sat and talked and sipped and cried,
And made up for a dozen fights.

I mailed a letter today,
I wrote it just for you.
I slipped my heart between the sheets,
In case you missed me too.

I hope it finds you well,
And you have an answer soon,
Fill it with your thoughts and dreams,
And your most favorite tune.

Perfectly Imperfect

I’m perfectly imperfect,
And by that I mean to say,
I’ve got a lovely golden star,
For my awesome, faulty day.

I gave myself a dozen points,
And a silver crescent moon.
For eating all my breakfast,
And cleaning up my room.

My dishes aren’t clean today,
But I don’t feel so bad.
My laundry’s in the washer,
So I guess I’m pretty rad.

I even called the doctor,
Which I was scared to do.
So I’m pretty sure I earned an Oscar,
And a quart of ice-cream too.

I didn’t finish everything,
All my millions of to-dos.
But I smiled at my dog today,
And didn’t blow my fuse.

I’m perfectly imperfect,
That’s all that I can be.
A dented, shining version,
Of a polished, messy me.

How it feels to be pregnant! 😊 Surprise!

A Thousand Things

I want to be a thousand things,
With a hundred thousand skills.
I want to paint and write and draw,
And do the things that give me chills.

I want to be an artist,
Better than the best.
I want to sketch and speak and write,
And never, ever rest.

I want to be a teacher,
And pass on what I’ve learned.
I want a box that’s overflowing,
With all the skills that I have earned.

I want to be a thousand things,
If I only had the time.
I’d steal so many skills away,
They’d want me for a crime.

I want to be a thousand things,
Instead I’ll have to choose.
What fits me best,
What I love most,
What I can’t stand to lose.

A Dozen Little Failures

I have a dozen failures,
Every one of them is mine.
Like a dozen little ducklings,
Spread out in a line.

They follow me throughout my life,
They never miss a beat.
A dozen little failures,
Gathered all around my feet.

Didn’t wash the dog today,
Forgot to feed the fish,
Called my mom an hour late,
And broke another dish.

I have a dozen failures,
They always come along.
Chattering the whole long way,
To remind me I’ve done wrong.

I stubbed my toe again,
And bought a shirt I didn’t need.
The dishes aren’t done,
And there’s the book I didn’t read.

I failed that class I should’ve aced,
And didn’t make the bed,
That lettuce rotted in the fridge,
And there are words I should’ve said.

I have a dozen failures,
They populate my life.
A dozen little failures,
Who always cause me strife.

I should’ve run a mile today,
I wish I’d washed my clothes,
My garden’s been neglected,
I could weed between the rows.

My writing’s been abandoned,
I forgot about that note.
I didn’t clean the bathroom,
And there’s a hole in my new coat.

I have a dozen failures,
They follow me around.
Like cheeping, peeping ducklings,
It’s not so bad as it might sound.

They come and go in every life,
They’re not so easy to forget.
Screeching, scratching failures,
Round every person I have met.

We all want something better,
A life within the lines.
A perfect pretty box,
To build around our shrines.

I have a dozen failures,
I think I’ll keep them all.
They peck apart my perfect world,
And remind me of His call.

Words that Soothe


Last week, I went to a job interview.

A very stressful job interview.

A couple of things made it stressful. First of all, the interview was for a position that I’m very excited about. If it works out, it would mean a lot to me as a writer. Second, it was a Skype interview. Third, I’ve been out of work for about a month now, and I’m starting to feel the strain.

And fourth, which I should probably have mentioned first, I had my wisdom teeth removed six days earlier and still looked like a chipmunk that had gotten into an elephant’s secret peanut stash. And, since I was also badly bruised from the experience, it looked like the elephant had then tried to strangle me.


It was awkward.

But, in the spirit of being an adult and needing this job, I forged ahead. For a solid hour, I sat up straight and attempted to smile while I stumbled over the answers to about a thousand different questions and tried to remember how to say words, not spell them. There is a reason that I am a writer, not a speaker.

Talking is hard.

Has anyone else noticed this, or is it just me?

When I finished, I was worn out. Completely. For an introvert, talking about yourself for an hour under that kind of pressure is more exhausting than a ten-mile run.

Trust me. I run. I know.

The trouble afterward was figuring out how to reenergize myself. I still had plenty of things on my to-do list for that day, and the world does not stop simply because your brain has been fried and you are tired.


In my time on this very weird earth, I have come up with lots of ways to cope with this emptied out, exhausted feeling. It’s a regular occurrence for me, as an introvert, and I’ve learned to react accordingly. Music, prayer and meditation, working out, and cooking are all ways to fill myself up again when I have been emptied, and they are all generally successful in their own way.

But, the best way to calm myself down after a stress is with words. Poetry, stories, prose. Words that soothe, words that empower, and words that remind me who I am and where I stand. For me, this is how I de-stress and fill myself up again. Here are a few of the words I run to when I am as stressed as I was last week.

1) Robert Frost: Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

2) William Ernest Henley: Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeoning of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate, 

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the Master of my Fate,

I am the Captain of my Soul.

3) Cornelia Funke: Inkdeath

There was only the path, the endless path winding up into the strange mountains, and the desire in his heart that he couldn’t tame, a wish to ride farther and farther on into this bewildering world. What did the castle to which Violante was leading them look like? Were there really giants in the mountains? Where did the path end? Did it ever end at all? Not for the Bluejay, a voice inside him whispered, and for a moment his heart beat like the heart of a ten-year-old boy, as fearless and as fresh.

There you are. Some of my favorite poems and passages, and the words that always soothe my anxious heart when I’ve had a bad day or simply a stressful one. What about you? What are some of your favorite quotes from books, poems, or anything else that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!



Please, you say, your hands folded in prayer.

A daughter, a child, with knots in your hair.

Whatever I’ll give, whatever I have,

It’s never enough.

Never enough.


I’m rich, you said,

Or rich to you,

I eat at night and sleep in a bed,

There are coins in my purse,

I’m always well fed.



Please, you say, your hands folded in prayer.

A daughter, a child, with knots in your hair.

It’s food, you tell me, but I know that’s not true.

He’s around the corner, he’s waiting for you.


Muss up your hair, pluck up a smile,

A few tears don’t hurt,

While you lay on the tile.

Make them believe you, make them feel sad,

It won’t help forever,

But it’ll help for a while.



Please, you say, your hands folded in prayer.

A daughter, a child, with knots in your hair.

The money’s not yours, it isn’t for you,

He’ll take it all and beat you too.


You don’t need my pity,

You need a home,

Someone to love you,

A place of your own.

Hope for tomorrow,

Books you can read.

A mother,

A father,

Someone to take heed.



Please, you say, your hands folded in prayer.

A daughter, a child, with knots in your hair.

I’ll buy you a meal, I’ll sit on the curb.

You’ll tell me your name, your voice will be heard.



I couldn’t help you today,

I had nothing to do.

But it won’t be forever.

I’ll come looking for you.

Someday it’ll be different,

Someday it will change.

You’ll be valued and treasured,

And he’ll be in chains.

Children of Cambodia

Now a boy, a man too soon,

You barely had the chance.

A child grown, a boyhood lost,

Games soon left behind.

They’ll never know, they’ve never asked,

How far your light might shine.

A helping hand, a winning smile,

You’ve given both to me.

Now a boy, a man too soon,

Your future isn’t mine.

I’ll let you go, I’ll let you grow,

You’ll do the best you can.

What you have isn’t what you chose,

I know you wanted more.

A fight ahead is what you face,

A future never sure.