The poem below was written back in the day, for my husband (then boyfriend), Paul. Not long out of the military, he was struggling with wanting to make something of himself.  To be his own man, on his own terms…whatever that meant.

Unfortunately, quite a few people in his life were pretty sure they knew what those terms should be.  And they weren’t shy about telling him.

Repeatedly. And at length.

So, he ended up mired in well-meaning advice. Most of which felt like the marching orders he was given in boot camp.  None of which felt true to his soul.

Being a natural born talker (you can feign surprise here, if you’re feeling generous), my impulse was to start pontificating. Look at his career options.  Give him my observations.

Then I realized he didn’t need more words. He needed fewer.

So, I wrote six stanzas instead of talking for six hours.

I guess they must’ve done the trick, because they’re framed and hanging on our wall over 20 years later.

Doubt’s gray ashes scattered
over paths as yet untried
are washed away forever
by good fortune’s gentle tide

Turn from careless words of those
who fear the cause of choice
They never see the promise
or hear their soul’s small voice

Faith will give you courage
should old questions in you rise
Years will give you knowledge
love will make you wise

For dreams that won’t be broken
by all that life demands
The sun will rise to warm your heart
the stars fall in your hands

So carry deep within you
the words of one who knows
How much you have to offer
how far you’re going to go

Trust that life’s sweet angels
gave the vision that you see
Embrace the vast tomorrow
the best is yet to be