Author: bravojoy

About bravojoy

hope is the thing with feathers

brown + gold

swing me round;
we’d have played ball.
hold me up so i won’t fall.
i guess that’s not really my call
cuz i already have.

blue and green and brown and gold
oh ye who are one year more old
this air doesn’t seem quite so cold
when you are holding my hand



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.


today i decided i would draw
all the things
that i saw
on this board i made
of things that once seemed
to me

and girls doing amazing things
and dandelions
and ivy that clings
to a secret door
secret doors
and windows
and dancers


twice i saw it! with all these shots
once on a spoon
and then once not
ha, the second was on the ground
beside a pair of shoes

and i thought: love
it’s what i’ve been
for years
under desks i’ve used
after a class or before or neither
penciled LOVE and a heart

LOVE and a heart
that i’ve never seen
so many times
who knows what it means
but love!
an encouragement
a support
someone in favor of love

i’ll soon be leaving all of those desks
much time was spent & soon, “i went..”
fine, but just this thought occurred to me

if YOU ARE LOVED is so important to me
maybe more than desks
is what i need.

how else can i give away those words?
books and secret doors and i!
always want to be the girl on adventure

books and doors and mirrors and floors
people on adventures