I am your wife, unwavering
                     and welcome home.

This door is not the destination;
      it is the journey
      that begins anew
      with each re-entry
      from rock-strewn paths
      and ecstatic escapades
      that bring us mindfully
      into the Gift of Presence.

You are the air I breathe
in the unrelenting
      Realm of Reason
where metaphor melds
with matter
for I can be neither
better half nor weaker half
      or, for that matter,
           other half
when the fullness of union
suffers no halves.

I stand before you whole
with all my battered luggage
and labeled “Ours.”


2014 Mary Boren
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He had curly brown hair
and a wooden leg.
I was tall and straight,
untouched by adversity.
We were seven.

Children called him Paulio
without a whiff of malice,
lining up for the novelty
of knocking wood —
playing knick-knack on one small knee.

I called him Paul
and carried his books,
always setting my pace to his.

We mapped music together
after school,
priming piano keys
with chocolate crowns
raided from Mama’s secret stash.
Chip for note, one for each.
Gobble – plink – giggle,
giggle – gobble – plink …

In the half-dappled shade of time,
instrumental memories
blink and fade like fireflies,
as moments relived
run the full scale of emotion.

Unflappable Paul —
boundless blue eyes, crooked grin.
Every feature lingers
in clear  focus —
each scene replays
to the tune of tenderness.

One muddy afternoon
I saw him fall in the ditch.
and ran to him … crying.
The woman driving by
saw only that he was down
and I was up.

She screeched to the curb,
blasting, lambasting me
through an open window
with her closed mind.

Push him?
I would have carried Paul
through flying bullets
on bloody feet.

My shoulders drooped all the way home,
but not from the weight of his books.



2011 Mary Boren
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Deer at Dawn


In the soft lavender haze,
three does graze in the yard.
Heads down, of necessity;
guard lowered … never.

As I tiptoe to a closer vantage point,
my knee brushes the rocker by the window
and it protests with a gutteral creak.
Heads up!

Instantly, they morph
into a trio of lawn statues.
Seconds pass like minutes.

They leap the tall grass
in a single scattershot blast!

Moving in unison
on a primal cue,
they have melded into the trees
before I can remember to exhale.

Seated with my coffee, in the comfort
and relative safety of home,
curiosity sets in.
(It could kill the cat,
but lack of it can down a deer.)

Was there ever a time they knew trust,
or were they predestined prey?
Is raw fear the trade-off
for beauty, grace,
and direct communion with the earth?

Could humans adapt
to live in such a state
of perpetual anxiety?

Or have we?



2011 Mary Boren
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I have fulfilled my purpose
when I cease to wonder …

Why am I here?
Am I doing this right?
What does tomorrow hold?

… when I can sit in stillness
and lose all sense of self in …

the song of a wren,
the rustle of leaves,
and the colors of sunrise.

I have reached the fullest expression
of human experience
when I can …

fix nothing,
forgive everyone,
and let go of everything.

I have not been suspended in a body
to learn, grow, excel, repent, or conquer.
My sole purpose in this incarnation is simply …

to wake up.



2011 Mary Boren
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