those nights

(When a moment makes you think of all these other memories that you remember you kind of miss)

There were these nights
when it was warm
and we ran
and it was like those days when
you were little, except you
lived there.
We came out and we played –
what did we play?
Sardines and ghosts in
the graveyard, or something.
Sidewalks and ponds,
dirty feet in the darkness
until we trekked back home,
to our dorms.

I get asked sometimes if I’m in school.
Sometimes high school,
sometimes college
but it’s been more than four
And sometimes, I miss things.

Little things, big things.
I didn’t notice I missed this.

Today my friend asked if I
wanted to walk.
She’s housesitting,
so we’re sort of neighbors right now,
and we walked around,
past houses,
on streets,
till it got dark.
And when it was time to go
(much earlier than those other days, because jobs),
we trekked back to our houses in the dark.

Sidewalks and tennis shoes.

No ponds,
but streetlights
on this warm night
that felt like one of those nights.


[I actually wrote this a while ago and am just now posting it! It’s not so warm anymore, but was when I wrote it. 🙂 ]

walk // fire // ice

It was cold today
(as it has been)

a bunch of us walked around,
stopping by fires a few times
but mostly
stopping by ice

beforehand, at my house, my friend told me
she might move away
pretty far, to a place that sounds pretty beautiful to me
i said that i would visit her
she said something about being a little worried
like, what if part of God’s plan for her is here
and if she moves away she’ll miss it?

and i said something about how He knows
His plan for her
and that she should pray about it, of course,
and do what she thinks is right
but that He knows, He knows His plans for her
and He will work it out

then we went to dinner
and walking around in the cold
in that beautiful group of
stopping by mounds of ice,
cut and chiseled and fired into
something new

and afterwards, back at home, i heard that another person – the second one this week! –
is doing a thing that i have been thinking – dreaming? – about doing

is it so easy for them? am i behind?

what if they become so successful and i … do not?

but He knows doesn’t He?

the plans, the dreams, He knows what we need.

i told my friend not to worry, that He will work it out.
so i will try to trust that for myself.
friends, trust that for yourself.

He knows, He knows,
dreams, hopes, our future adventures.
and that sometimes we just need
to go to dinner
in a beautiful group
to laugh
to walk
to look at ice



dream // wake

in my dream last night
i lived in Chicago again
but had the job I have

i was leaving, moving back,
and (i guess) told them i had to go

it wasn’t 4th of July this time
it wasn’t a month’s notice
it wasn’t saying goodbye to them all
and driving home

i came home and walked into my new job
(that i had somehow had before)
and realized i didn’t love it
i told them
“i left in the middle of the week!
i have to go back
and work two more days.”
the manager wasn’t happy about that.
she frowned and i thought about how long the train ride would be.

but i was seriously considering going back
moving there again
for good, for longer

because what about those kids?
what about watching them grow up?
what about knowing them better next year?

i started to wake up

and realized:
that Chicago-job, the one in the dream
is really the job i have now
i don’t have to move back
i just have to wake up

so I did,
and left for work.

lesson planning

They laughed today
So laughed
Posters plastered against the walls of that building
on my college campus.

“Let’s eat…” but when you take away the comma it’s not so civil.
Let’s eat, Sarah.
Let’s eat Sarah.

Let’s hit, John.
Let’s hit John.

They laughed.

& me, smiling,
glasses wearing,
writing poetry on yellow sticky notes in the minutes left in the work day.

Fingers stained blue from rewriting their names.

Poetry. I wonder how that lesson will go when I teach them, when we
write our own rhymes in 30 minutes of class time.

There are a lot of things that will be fun to teach them, I think.

Alliteration , tenses, writing letters, our own book titles, finding the syllables in our names. Categories and I look up games and I wonder, have I found the job of my dreams?

Thankful, I am so thankful.

There are a lot of things that will be fun to teach them, I think.

But on Monday, where should I start?

past – collection

today i was at my grandma’s house

it’s not quite empty
the carpet’s gone,
and the table with the old phone
and the tv and that bookshelf
and most of our pictures

but it’s not quite empty
it has hardwood floors
and things strewn around
that we’re trying to
save, or give away, or find a place for
before the house is sold

today i filled a box with
handkerchiefs, books, & tiny red bottles

and i have this memory.
all of us (it seems)
are sitting around this living room
when it still had carpet
and we opened our presents
from oldest to youngest
everyone was there!
the circle was so big
this is a good memory to me

when i was a little older i wondered
why don’t we do that anymore?
where are the big christmases?
it’s been longer now
since that circle-present day
i don’t wonder so much (about that)

but today
i thought
there are so many
so many
memories i have that i feel disconnected from
that was a long time ago
that’s not who i am now
that was before this, before this
today i realized that these things
are not gone
not disappeared
not un – happened
they are here
in me
part of me

i want to live
not in the past
but not just in the present either
(because sometimes – often – i forget what came before)
i want to live as a collection of  these things
like there’s a veil streaming from my being
of all the things that have happened before
that are not gone
that are still with me
like working at camp
like being backstage for les mis
like random things from sophomore year
like christmas a long time ago
the things i thought were gone,
that i wish i could better remember

today i was thinking
i want to live
not in the past,
but not just in the present either

today i was in my grandma’s house
and it was not quite empty

silver – now

it happened!
that someday me,
that imagined place where i could sleep
five weeks ago it all came true
and ended just last night

i suppose it was just two weeks ago that i decided
“i think i want to stay..”
so i started sending out applications like mad
and one day i had an interview scheduled
and the day after that i was sitting there
and this woman was saying she wanted to hire me

on the spot? that’s never happened to me!
and five days later i started to be
the newest one that works at this place
that five days later was today

i have a tight budget
the show closed yesterday
new people, new work
“i’m going to stay”

but i am so excited!
i love my new housemates
i have a book and a journal
and “when i am afraid..”

silver ink scrawled on my hand
the last day of the show:
“when i am afraid i will trust”
in this God i’m blessed to know


i was 22 and about to start on
a new experience, the incredible unknown,
something somewhat like an adventure
i was combing craigslist and calling friends
trying to find someone who would house me for my
awkward living-in-chicago dates and for
less than my life savings.

i was scheduling an interview for wednesday
and wondering
what if!
i got it and i’d be in the city for 7 1/2 more months than i’d originally planned?

and i was wondering (again)
what about money?
why does this job barely pay?
i have one month! what if i don’t find something?
and yet, sometimes, my mom would say
“don’t worry. God knows. Your life is in His hands.”
i liked that.
it was something good to hear for this 22-year-old, this just graduated person, this person about to start out on something new…

i was 22..
no, that’s not quite true.
i am 22. i am just graduated. i am about to start this something new.
i am looking and waiting and praying and worrying and hoping
thinking about what dress to wear
to the interview where i guess i’ll share
this new experience
this incredible unknown,
this something somewhat like an adventure.