i don’t take many photographs anymore.
and when i do, they’re of cats,
cabbage leaves,
chalk white skies and a house
with sun bleached sides.
sleeping children,
spotty rashes,
receipts for soap and ink pens.
i don’t write much anymore.
and when i do,
i write lists:
things to do today,
small accomplishments,
ways that we will make it through
another month
another year. 
ways that i have come alive.

the clouds are so low
and full of rain, 
and aspen said
“I think I could reach it, mama,
if I just stretched far enough!”
the air in our house
is sweet and old and 
thickened somehow with
the rain.
i light a candle, 
wipe a coffee stain from the counter,
breathe in. 
i want you to know
that i am different,
changed in skin and bone,
all good things,
no longer trying.
but am still here
in some ways,
and others. 
for you, 
for them,
for me,
for us.

Kristen Hedges