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their loyalty
sleeps in the riverbed behind their house
slumbering soundly in water forever following one path
polishing stones lying beneath the surface
destined only to carve deeper with time
while wild flowers grow on the banks
in celebration of its glory

their happiness is a bucket of apples
from which they nourish those of us
who are starved
carrying that hunger on our backs
and within each apple they've painted a star
guiding us to where each breath
smells of eucalyptus and tastes like a prayer

love rises from their skin
in silk ribbons
that catch on the fingertips of passersby
and for that moment
we hold in our hands
the spirit of a child
chasing a human promise
with the persistence of a sandpiper on the surf
 

Shannon Marie Kortbek is from a po-dunk town north of Sacramento, California, which locals refer to as "woodpile." 
She now competes in poetry slams occasionally and enjoys writing of all types.  Professionally she is a sign language interpreter currently living with her husband in Orlando, Florida.




This poem was written as a gift for two friends of mine who produced my first CD of poetry.  They have been married more than twenty years and still love each other as if they meet for the first time everyday.  When I met them, I was planning my wedding and surprised at how many people told me not to get married, that it was a big mistake, that I should just wait.  These two people were an example to me of how good life can be when governed by love that is happy and true.
 
They actually do live on the edge of the Truckee river in Lake Tahoe, California, which is where the first image starts.  This poem is an attempt to apply words to that feeling most of us have when we're with someone who exudes so much excitement and love we can't help but feel good when they're
near us - high off their happiness.

 


  


Copyright 2009