I’ve been trying to write this poem for about five years and finally here it is. It’s about a place in Shoal Creek Greenway in Kansas City, MO where I used to go mountain biking and walk my dog. It was right after my really bad hospitalization for losing hope in my dreams then my divorce. I’d just gotten my own place and a job. Then a friend invited me to her daughter’s birthday party and I was out in the woods and decided to make a braided wildflower headband for her to wear on her birthday. I was sitting by this old abandoned water tower near a stream in the woods and the thought came to me, that here I was, and things could all get better from here.
One of the support groups I went to said that you could drive from Miami to California without seeing a sign for most of the journey that you were on your way to California. This was the first time that I saw a sign that things were pointed in the right direction.
The Moment I First Saw Beauty in Graffiti
The moment I first saw beauty in graffiti,
the urban mixed with woods in winter that’s receding
Just a few wild violets budding white and new I never knew this place was here at all.
The tower gone to jagged crumbles,
canvas among the rumble,
leaves small but smelling fungal.
Springtime growing faster as I bring my heart out beyond the knowing of disaster.
My new life barely building, this beginning of hopeful feeling,
Of possibility I couldn’t even exhaust the abilities
Of grace indeed that makes this place I see mean I can yet hold tight to face my dreams
And making it all work out, a job, home, and friends I had my doubts.
Then on this day the prodigal son showed the way I came to my senses
And realized, “I’m making it.”
“I’m doing this – independence is just pushing through the mist.”
And the fever of fear broke it’s hold on me once I stepped out of darkness so bleak
I didn’t know I’d become blind till the moment I was able to see.