This I Believe
I believe in blue jeans. I believe in brown shoes.
I believe you can stand up to people who think they’re bigger than you.
I believe in Gore-Tex.
I love rain.
Three summers ago we hiked the Highline Trail.
I believe now I could cross that snowfield you had to help me across.
I believe in trees and a hawk on a light pole on I-64.
And the magnolia blooms your mother arranged in a silver bowl.
I also like to watch nuthatches.
I believe in poetry.
And public education.
I know we need to pay teachers more than we do.
Once I saw a crow devouring either a big worm or a little snake.
Once a man apologized to you when he’d offended me.
I wish I’d learned trigonometry and the laws of thermodynamics.
I’m sorry I still want to be recognized in a crowd.
I believe in doctors who research diabetes and heart disease.
And doctors who are on-call four nights a week.
In the middle of the night there were no cars in the parking lot.
We waited in the waiting room a long time.
I believe more often than not I should be quiet.
I believe it is probably harder for me than it is for you.
Amelia Earhart believed marriage could be an attractive cage.
I believe marriage has an element of blank.
I saw your mother’s face. Then yours.
Sometimes I want to believe in God.
And to follow the poet’s precept to write what you desire.
I know some keep the Sabbath staying at home.
I saw my mother pin sheets on the clothesline to dry.
I saw her iron my father’s work shirts for years.
I believe in kindness, though I could be kinder.
And that there are people I should have been kinder to when they were alive.
I was probably saying something about punctuation when the towers collasped.
I remember saying September 12th, Canada may seem like an answer.
For a while we discussed the Vietnam War.
I believe the war on terror will not end in my lifetime.
Nor will grace: our son, a kayak on the Snake River, a yellow-faced guitar by the door in his room.
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