(1) This quote, by Edwidge Danticat (via, as per usual, @ilya_poet): “Pretend that this is a time of miracles and we believe in them.” (2) Strolling through Heardmont Park with J– + S–. Which is to say: (3) Family time. Which is to say: (4) Time to take stock. Which is to say: (5) This (blessed) time of miracles. (6) Dry shampoo. It’s own form of miracle. (Who knew?) (7) Unintended rhyme. (8) Writing poems again (unintended too). (9) The inherent prompt(s) a form invites. (10) Abecedarians, namely. (11) Also hymns. Particularly broken ones. (12) My Mary necklace. (13) That S– also loves my Mary necklace. (14) Having had a particularly hard day and reading (and taking solace) in the book of Job (however on-the-nose that may be). (15) Also writing it out. Not the book of Job but a particularly hard day. The value in spilling it onto the page. And leaving it there. (16) This quote, by John Berger (via, ibid.): “Poems, even when narrative, do not resemble stories. All stories are about battles, of one kind or another, which end in victory or defeat. Poems, regardless of any outcome, cross the battlefields, tending the wounded.” (17) Thinking, then, of Whitman — the poet-nurse, in the military hospitals, tending the sick and wounded and dying Union soldiers, whereby his acts of mercy (reading to these men, taking dictation for their letters home, simply sitting nearby, listening) were themselves his greatest poem. (18) Thinking, then, of Lincoln — the poet-president. Who suffered and failed a lot and yet he kept trying and trying. (19) Wearing my Lincoln socks. (20) Wearing my banned-book socks. (21) Wearing my Bob Ross t-shirt. (22) Wearing my Starry Night stormtrooper t-shirt. (23) How these small acts of asserting identity, affinity, admiration/aspiration can feed the soul. Or mine anyway. (24) A certain kind of uncertainty. Or, said another way: (25) A climate of possibility. (26) To be clear: Van Gogh (not so much stormtroopers) — who suffered and failed a lot and yet he too kept trying, kept painting, kept asserting his identities and affinities. (27) The tooth that once pained me and now does not. Thanks to: (28) Sensodyne toothpaste. (29) Brushing S–‘s teeth. All four of them. Which he loves too. Which is (also) to say: (30) Whatever he loves.