Words that Soothe

Poetry is my balm. Sometimes I think the only thing that will be left after I am gone is these words. And not just my words, all the words I have loved written by others. Or even just single words, uttered by the ones I love during our discussions about the words we love. Epiphany. Blue. Orange. Red. Human Beans.

Oh human beings! Finding poetry for this April series heals me. I once again followed Kelli Russell Agodon’s lead, searching for poems by someone she mentioned on her Facebook page. I struck poetry heaven by typing in the name January Gill O’Neil. I’m sharing two of her poems today. Enjoy and happy weekend to you!


Tonight I pray to the god
of small children and broken toys.
Since it seems as though we are made
in Her image, thank you for the tiny curls
in my daughter’s hair. Blessed is She
who holds those galactic swirls close to her beautiful head,
thanks for letting me run my fingers through them
as we read Goodnight Moon at the end of a long, wrecked day.
Thanks for her little hands with chipped nail polish
and the laughter ebbing from her coral lips.
God of the color pink, god of Dora the Explorer,
thank you for rain as we begin our journey into sleep,
let the sky fall one drop at a time.
That we can find ourselves
in this unearned sweetness,
to the god of small miracles
I say, Amen. –January Gill O’Neil


You are the start of the week
or the end of it, and according
to The Beatles you creep in
like a nun. You’re the second
full day the kids have been
away with their father, the second
full day of an empty house.
Sunday, I’ve missed you. I’ve been
sitting in the backyard with a glass
of Pinot waiting for your arrival.
Did you know the first sweet 100s
are turning red in the garden,
but the lettuce has grown
too bitter to eat. I am looking
up at the bluest sky I have ever seen,
cerulean blue, a heaven sky
no one would believe I was under.
You are my witness. No day
is promised. You are absolution.
You are my unwritten to-do list,
my dishes in the sink, my brownie
breakfast, my braless day. –January Gill O’Neil


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