we say:

“the world”



is broken

words that summarize

but do not encompass 

the suffering

of each of the beings

who have been taught

through violence

through isolation

through poisonous words

that who they are is not enough

is less than


somewhere along the way

as i saw and

understood and


the suffering that is ours

my heart 


and a thicket of brambles grew from it

protecting it

defending it

searching for a way to fix 

what is bigger than me


so i travel the world 

with my heart of brambles

sometimes leafy

sometimes thorny

sometimes sweet with sticky fruit

and i offer what i can


occasionally blossoming

having difficult, sometimes prickly conversations

offering sweet fruit to those who will take it

hoping that the seeds will


in unexpected places

and flowers will grow from cement

their delicate roots 

nestling into concrete crevices

and breaking them



so that one day

maybe years from now

that concrete will become soil

rich with nutrients for more flowers to grow


and maybe

my grandchildren’s grandchildren

will look upon a flower

or taste a blackberry

and know


that they are more than enough

and that their roots connect them

with other flowers

who also know 

that they are more than enough

and maybe they will remember

their great great grandmother’s 

broken heart

and give thanks that theirs

is whole.

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