Strong Like the Tulips

((For my daughtersand all the daughtersto know they arethe tulips for this Springand the hundreds following.And we are here—there will be others—undoubtedly marveling.)) Tulips can push themselvesthrough barely thawed groundwithout growing clawswithout wearing armorwithout the till to softenand fluff their bed. Their bodies detailed paperwith perfect postureeven with their loadall on top their shoulders. I […]

On Feelings—A Less Welcomed One

Anxiety is comingso there’s work to do.Journal, pray, read—stay busy, stay still,breathe and don’t exhaleuntil your throat catches the air. Diffuse wintergreen.Make chamomile tea, andmake yourself sweat, butpreferably not in that order.Let yourself stand in lineat Chipotle. Say yesto extra guacamole.Call your friendand talk about nothingbecause you can’t reallyname why your ribskeep clawing so tight. Tears […]

Found Inspiration

By Abigail Rudibaugh Inspiration is really goodat playing hide and seek.She asks you to count,your face flat on leather,cold and molding to youas you count to ten. You don’t tell her the truthyou don’t want to playbecause you know wellInspiration doesn’tlike the isolation. Ready or notyou duck under bedsand peek behind doorspuzzled at how easyyou […]

Moody Thursday

I’m not in the mood.Another day of grayafter a night withrestless little sleepers.The last thing I wantis to grab my penand write. Like oil changesand peeling potatoesand foldingthose same clothesevery week—routine can bea drag. Having to weara heavy coatdoesn’t help. But my body knows,practically overflows,ready to getthe words out— Rhythms at work againreminding me,“This is […]

The Art of Drafting

by Abigail Rudibaugh When do you knowwhen a balloonis blown full enoughor a handpicked bouquethas the right amount of lilacs?Even a fallen branch in a foreststill has work that he is doing. Half-finished things are everywhere—tucked away in documents filedor buried between ramblingsand folds and pockets.There’s a poem right nowin the back of my mindjust […]

Genesis 1:7

by Abigail Rudibaugh Alarm clock, snooze, slippers,coffee pot pre-set to brew,pile of books and blank pagesscent of lavender traces. Of course plenty will be in motiontwo hours from now—but it will wait outside the door,trying not to creak the floor. I’m busy finding the brushstrokeson the painting above my desk.Even with all the intentional marks,why […]

Breath Work

by Abigail Rudibaugh Breathe in—Roll up your breathlike a snowball.Let it sit at the topof your lungsfor a minute.Use your fingertipsto reach for the rightword to start the sentence. In a room of friendsdebriefing from the day,the ice in your throatbegins to thaw.The ball perchedbegins its descent.The rest of thesentence growsas you let yourselfbe heard. […]

An Enneagram Reunion

By Abigail Rudibaugh They arrive at Four’s homebecause it’s the coolest.Some indie artist playingon a record next to a platterof port-wine cheese. One shows up clean-shaven,on time, and proud.The invitation said 7pm.Six is just around the blockbut makes sure to text an “I’m sorry, runninglate,” while Eight finds curbsideparking that Nine passed upbecause he doesn’t wantto […]

The Days Before Christmas

by Abigail Rudibaugh Days before Christmasand I’m annoyedby winter’s gray,mad at sicknessI can’t keep at bay,stressed with laundryand the wrapping,and more storiesof sneaky porchpirates getting away. I know I seemfrivolous, andthis is luxurious,to complainabout thingsthat seem trite,but “merry andbright” aren’tsitting just rightthese few daysbefore Christmas. Joy gets harderto muster underdays trimmedwith evergreen;pressure buildsto find handleson […]

“they say a storm is coming”

A Poem by Guest Poet Jennifer Gafford they say a storm is comingradar shows 100%severe lightningdownpourdark skiesdamaging winds. but the current climate shows,him cuddling before bed,and he sits in my lap after dinnerreceives my corrections with graceis friends with his whole 2nd grade classhe passes the ball on the fieldand reads to his brothers. so […]