For Kelly

You don’t know Kelly, but Kelly is beautiful.
Not like a product of your imagination; not like a cookie cut from your own recipe. No. She is champagne with breakfast; bubbly, bright, a little out of place, maybe, but always necessary; especially when relatives come to visit.
I met Kelly a week ago. As I sat, book in my hand, appearing to concentrate, laughter from down the hall began to invade my little paradise. Imagine the delight of birdsong just before the sky is fully awake; the wind chime that tosses it’s hair in the breeze; the moment you extinguish a candle and the smoke vanishes; it smells like a fireplace. Kelly’s laughter is none of those things. It is the sandpaper side of the sponge, a little bit snorty, but tapered with dignity.
If you were team captain you wouldn’t want her on your dodgeball team. She couldn’t hurt a dandelion. But thank God the universe doesn’t give two pennies about your opinion, because it turns out that before you are the last one to be picked Kelly has already chosen you. When your name is called you shake like a teenager in your too-tight gym shorts and you pee. Except its like that scene in Billy Madison and suddenly it is cool to pee your pants; everybody’s doing it.
Kelly is not afraid. Not of embarrassment, not anger, not vulnerability. Kelly doesn’t care if you pee your pants. Besides, let her hang around you long enough and you just might anyway.
What she has that most don’t is the willingness to begin again. And not just from the beginning.
She loves to knit. A lot. As a non-participant in the club of knitting, I have at least witnessed the irritation of having to start over. One lazy weave and the precise pattern is noticeably interrupted. This means unraveling the thread. It’s hard to watch a thing so impressively strived for fall apart so quickly.
So, she takes it one step at a time; day by day, meal by meal. She knows now that mistakes are a part of the process, resistance an odd shaped key. And as for starting over where the thread begins to fray? Well, she treats that the same way she starts her day: gives thanks for her friends; for their sacrifice in wearing her crummy hats; for yarn, lots of yarn.
For the bundle of color in her hands.
Bird By Bird
     For Kelly
Somewhere– a tapestry is torn.
The egg reveals a crack.
A bird is born.
For the first time, eyes
Open after a long vigil.
You choose a trail of thread.
Knot the needle.
Point it like a feather,
Leading it down and through.
Now let it rise like a flare
Breaking open in the heart of the sky.
Look! stars appear like angels
Kissing the forehead of a full moon,
Embroidering, stitch by stitch,
A lantern for the darkness.
I welcome your thoughts!

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