I laugh to keep from crying.
Daily
news:
war,
death.
Daily…
sunflower
seed
wishes.
Daily,
I laugh to keep from crying.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Written in response to the Cuyahoga County Public Library’s Poem-A-Day Read+Write Challenge for #NationalPoetryMonth, April 6th Prompt: Try on “The Skinny,” an 11-line poem (see link for details).

For those who don’t know, the sunflower is the official flower of Ukraine, and a woman made international headlines after yelling at a Russian soldier to get out of her country, saying: “Take these seeds and put them in your pockets, so at least sunflowers will grow when you all lie down here.” She then followed the soldiers around with seed packets.

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Rain Delay | POHR tall bike rider James Bond, Jr., sporting his rain gear in style. ©2016 Leigh-Anne Dennison

Pedal,
pedal,
pedal.
Drip,
drop,
deluge.

Stopping,
soaked,
dripping.
Shoes,
shorts
squishing.

Thank god for cover
and a few dozen friends
passing the time
as the storm passes.
At least the rain
canceled
the heat.

Back
in the
saddle.
Pedal,
pedal,
pedal.

Sun
shining.
Birds
chirping.
Breezes
refreshing.

Learn more about the Annual Pan Ohio Hope Ride fundraiser, supporting American Cancer Society patients and their caregivers at pohr.org, and support the author’s ongoing efforts at http://main.acsevents.org/goto/LeighAnneD

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End of Season Wildflowers. North Chagrin Metro Park, Ohio ©2021 Leigh-Anne Dennison

Hope
doesn’t
spring eternal
when the diagnosis
is “terminal.”

Hope
must be
mustered.
Begged,
borrowed,
or stolen…
if need be.

Hope
is a present
present
in the moments
of joy
or calm,
gifted by
family
members
by blood
or by choice.
When
three little words
devastate
a life,
a family,
a world,
three other words
echo after it
in the darkness:
“I need hope.”

Hope
needs
to be given
from the abundance
of blessings
of days lived
in peace,
in love,
together…
to the people
who haven’t
the strength
to find it
alone.

Give hope…
in words,
deeds,
gestures
big or small.
Give it freely
and live it,
in seeing
and celebrating
the people,
pets, places,
and world
around you.

Save lives,
celebrate lives.
Be the hope
you wish to see
in the world.

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Leigh-Anne Dennison

Leigh-Anne Dennison

She/her. Freelance writer, photographer, editor; anti-racist; LGBTQIA, animal & environmental activist. Married, mom to 6 kitties, a doxie & 4 community cats.