Happy birthday, dearest Jennifer

Happy birthday, dearest Jennifer / by Laura M Kaminski

for my beloved cousin, Jennifer Stokley, on her birthday

If I could take the world, brush it gently
shake all the hatred off humanity
if I could fill each ocean
to the beaches with compassion
and turn up the volume on the sky
so you could hear the song of sunrise
if I could make this earth entirely
a gift of peace, joy, love and beauty
I would wrap it in a prayer and send it
(labeled fragile) as a gift.

all my heart, all my love


–Laura M Kaminski



Birthday Wish, Croissant and Squirrel

Birthday Wish, Croissant and Squirrel / by Laura M Kaminski

for David Wright, 20-April

Someone today is playing all the birds, tuning them up
for a winged concerto. Warm from the oven, a fresh croissant

exhales yeast and butter. What better gift on a still-crisp
April morning? The squirrels are not yet rejoicing, they’re

still living on old rations, last year’s broken hickories
gathered from beneath the mail box where the postman’s

Jeep has crushed their shells. For the squirrels, this
is when it’s lean, all things are just now greening,

all so far from seeds and harvest. But take this flaky
pastry and place it at the base of the creaking sugar maple,

adorn it with a dandelion blossom if you please, set a fine
table for that frumpy fellow watching from the branch.

Back away and give him space to gather up his bravery, rush
down the trunk and grab the gift, race back up skyward home.

Soon crumbs tumble, scatter soft upon the grass below,
manna falling from the sugar maple into new spring clover.

Delighted finches skip and taste.  May your birthday be this way,
this kind of banquet. May even the crumbles of this day be joy.

–Laura M Kaminski, 2014