By Aviva Derenowski

You and I

When I scan your face
I see

I saw 

I want to see

How do I step out of
My imagination?


using my other senses,
to your laughter
your wrinkles,
your sweat.

You exist.

I exhale.

Having a cup of tea

You are right,

The road I’m taking
Is long,

I’ve taken it because
I love the sun on my face,
The sound of my steps,
And the people I meet on the way
Like you.

If you didn’t stay home
Tending your garden
And raising a family
We wouldn’t have met.

You made a good choice,
And so did i.

My Mattress

I sink into it, and it supports my weight,
holds the memory of my body
and comforts me when my bones ache.

I take it for granted.
and even neglect it.

My mattress adds peace, joy, and tranquility to my life.

It matters.


I ate all the choc chip cookies,
and the large piece of carrot cake you’d left in the fridge.

You grudgingly said,
that I should have left you some.

I felt chastised
and slept the whole day
in self-pity.

The following day you told me you felt abandoned.

I felt guilty again.

What’s the way out of this hell?


I noticed another petal opening
in the soul, I didn't have -
off white and lacy, like a tiny rose
shy, still budding as if waking from a deep sleep.

I looked at it with awe,
didn't know it was in me.


Cool air from the fan caresses my cheek,
thin nostrils suck the draft
and repel it
as an afterthought.

Hurried fingertips play the keyboard,
and curious eyes keep following the characters on the screen.

After a while 
Rosy lips curl in a smile -
A poem is born.

Can you hear its pulse?


My mother, who is in Heaven,
talks to me.

I listen silently.

If I cloud my listening with
I can't hear her voice.

When you talk to me
and I busy myself with reasoning,
I can't hear you.

I feel embarrassed.

Please repeat.
I want to hear you.

I Love You

You’re in my world
not of my choosing.

You don’t like me.
I’m loud, opinionated, and pushy.
I understand.
I’ll stay out of your way.

I cultivate my environment to be wholesome, healthy, and creative.
I like my field of vision to expand into harmony, dialogue, and laughter.

You are in my world for a reason,
And it’s not to annoy me.
But to help me grow, understand, and be gentle toward others.

When our paths cross
I don’t address you,
I smile,
because you’re beautiful
just the way you are.

I love you.

A poem with four revisions

The bold tiny Robin hopped in a straight line to the one who nibbled worms in the grass.
The other Robin didn't seem to notice.
She kept picking,
not even slowing down.
The bold tiny Robin kept hopping closer and closer -
He picked morsels next to her,
as if there was no one but them.
Then they took flight in the same direction.

Revision 1:
I Can't-Wait
Hop hop. "I see you, mate!"
Robin chuckled in delight.
She's so focused on the feed.
I wonder what great worms she found.
Hop hop, "I'm almost there,"
She looks so cute ignoring me
The mealworm in her bill looks yum
I hope there's more under her feet.
Hop hop, "Let's celebrate!"
You and I are here again,
Just like last spring, we're here to nest
Let's fly; I found the perfect tree.”

Revision 2
Lady Robin
This worm tastes heavenly,
shiny with fear and fat.
The worm under my talons
is for my mate -
I bet he's hungry.

Revision 3
The Robin's Worm
I have nothing to say.
I'm food for this bird.
Just a minute ago
I was a happy worm
feeding on decaying roots
and leaves
rolling in the soil leisurely.
Now I'm in her bill,
I hope she eats fast
This situation is excruciating.

Revision 4
One Voice
And God said to the Robin-
May your fledglings live long and thrive,
May you feed plenty all the days of your life
May you be happy.
And God said to the worm-
May you surrender to your destiny
May you find compassion for your predators.
May you be liberated.

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