in lieu of errands

Before I write a poem as soft as falling snow, I want to write a note to you.

I will tell you the truth.

The poem will be soft as falling snow and as cold as all that, too. I will not write it from the warmth of a fireplace inside a cabin built by trusting hands.

I will write it from the forest, where my shoes are so wet my feet are wrinkled, where the sky is so full of flurry I cannot see the trees. I will write it bark-bruised, frost-bit, cracked-lip.

Before I respond to messages piled up like autumn leaves, I will write a note to you.

I will tell you the truth.

I could have caught those leaves on their way down. I couldn’t help the falling, but they didn’t need to land, to pile, to bury themselves in their own seasoning.

I will tell you the truth.

A spring weed truth, popping through the pavement like miniature stars. A summer truth, ever-lasting. A warm hug of sunshine that squeezes so hard your skin waters itself to sustain the holding.

Before I do what I have to do, I will write a note to you.

I will tell you how glad I am that you are here, at the end of every pencil I hold, on the other side of every keyboard. I will tell you all the things I don’t know how to say with my voice.

I will tell you that I love you.

And that will be the truth, even when the path is snow-flurry hidden, even when the path is trying to hold back my stars, even when the path is sweating or spiced, or lost, or in the making.

I will tell you the truth.

I will tell you that you are loved, and it will remind me, that I am too. And maybe that will make it easier to do

all the little things

I have to do.