give and take


 I take

3 hard candies in my hand and

slip them out of their plastic shells.

I pop each one into my mouth

with a quick movement,

So no one can see what I’ve done.


I take

pictures of leaves and flowers and hands

and then delete them.

I hide them so well

That they’re never found,

And I shake my head when

People see my camera

And ask if I take any good pictures.


I take


And warp them until they’re

All I can hold onto.

Subtle, teasing comments

That shouldn’t mean anything.


I take

Tests and lose my sanity

For 44 minutes.  


I give

hesitant hugs and lemon drops with smiles that taste just as sour.   


I give

Averted glances and

Tired, trembling high fives.   


I’ve given

until my hands are so empty and raw that they hurt too much to take.


I can’t take from others

Because I know how hard it is to give.   

We’re still kids with

Sticky fingers,

Stuck to rapacity and red life savers.  


I take

books and fall asleep with them so the pages are crumpled where I finished reading.


I take

water and let it slip through the cracks between each finger,

Long showers that lull

My environmentalist mind to sleep.   


I take

Deep breaths

Between giggles or sobs ––

It makes no difference.   


I take

a dictionary and shake it hard

so the words have new meanings.   


I take


I take

my friends’ hands when we walk through cemeteries

because it’s scary and cold,

But their fingers aren’t.   


I take

Minutes to myself.  

Sunday mornings where I lay under a snowy white mountain of blankets,

The sun creeping in through my window;

I take

her in with open arms.  


I take for myself,

From myself.  


I take

3 hard candies

And rip them out of their plastic shells,

So everyone knows that I’m here

And ready to take.


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