Secret Anniversaries
by Ute Carson
Indolent Books, March 2020

There is something different in every aching heart:
Awareness of death
as when a butterfly landed in the palm of my hand,
wings heavy, baked by heat, failing.
Awareness of failure
as when, betting all my money on that spotted horse,
my fortune seeped through my fingers like sand.
Awareness of loss
as when I stormed into the night fog
after a blustery quarrel with my partner,
her words icy darts, "I don’t love you anymore."

There is something different in every jubilant heart:
Dawning of love
as when through flickering candlelight
sparks ignite in recognition and we are on fire.
Dawning of beauty
as when breastmilk sweet as honey
becomes an amber river
that nourishes new life.
Dawning of freedom
as when there is no longer the need
to place feelings under a bell jar
but to let them shine.

When the last anniversary dawns on the horizon
I hope to celebrate with few regrets but
much gratitude for a wondrous ride!

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