i scream away my pain,
crying for the lost little girl
hiding inside of me.
knees drawn up, head tucked down,
small fingers pulling at little curls.
ribbons choking.
begging. screaming.
wrapped in chains.
held within the darkness.
searching for the spark
that can set her free—
finding only a void.


beauty is
the sparkle in your eye
after you’ve told a dirty joke.
joy is
cleaning up the mud you tracked in
after dancing in the rain.
peace is
curling up under a
blanket fort in the living room.
wellness is
enjoying the last spoonful
of mint chocolate chip ice cream.
life is
the unexpected, the messy,
the rain, and the sparkles.


we were essential.

it was essential
that we came to work
sick because they were

essential meant missing
our child’s game
to work that extra shift, 
or knowing someone else
was putting our child to bed. 

giving thanks
for the microwave dinner
we ate before opening the store
for massive crowds, or
sitting alone in a dark room,
watching the Christmas lights twinkle. 

now we wonder how long a meager
savings account will last. 
the bills pile up as we teach
our child the math we never understood
in the first place.

cutting apart precious clothing
to make masks to keep us safe.
watching worship services on
bandwidth that is too slow. 
the future a blank wall
in front of us. 

tomorrow we will be essential again. 

so why aren’t we essential today?