flash poetry for Sabina Giado


She showed up in my feed
after the shooting
saying the wisest of things:

“We all really need to examine ourselves and
think about what separates us from these gunmen.
Patience. Compassion. Humility. Humanity.
Will we give those values up when pushed? Food 4 thought.”

Excellent food for thought
like somebody mixed kale and chocolate chip cookies
performed a miracle
made a good meal.

First my brain threw forth a word:


I argued with myself:

but that can imply a lack of money,
which doesn’t feel like the true difference to me,
most of the kind people I know—especially the young now
—are financially poor—and they’re the most generous people I know

My soul volunteered a thought:

No, I meant a poverty of people.

a complete lack of listening humans

present to listen
present to help me feel noticed, heard, of value

Then it hit me:

Fully present people are all that separates right-now me from gunperson-me.

“There but for the grace of God, go I.”
I heard my grandmothers and mother say within me.

“There but for the grace of Sabina,” I responded.
“Goes gunman me.”

Sabina said

“I see what you’re saying.
We need to fortify those distinctions within ourselves
however we can, even if it means valuing and listening to ourselves.
It’s hard. I’m still learning how to self-love.”

Ouch. My heart broke. Soul reeled:

How can self-love be hard for this funny, thoughtful, amazing human?
She’s so loveable that even a total stranger can feel it.

I first said this:

We’re all still learning, I think.
Might even be why we’re here.
To support each other in learning to love ourselves.

Then I wrote some #micropoetry. Because
to think and speak isn’t enough anymore, is it?

while you may struggle
to love yourself
for me
loving you
just feels like

minds find refuge in silence
people find refuge in presence

what sounds surround us?

the silence of presence
weeping and laughter
wind in the tree tops
water above us
souls harmonizing