Just watch


I give myself unlimited chances 

and infinite wishes

That I can choose to grant 

I cultivate curiosity 

exchange skepticism for wonder

I create simply for creation’s sake

Offering the same opportunity to others

I draw with a thick black marker (chisel tip) the delineation between me and you

And I will shimmer and shine in my own space while you do as you wish in yours

In the Morning

I have heard that the cracks are where the light comes in

And in the places we were broken we are stronger

That’s what the poets say

But someone has to sweep up the pieces, to find every last one, and set to work with toothpicks and superglue 

Because we the people are shattered, scattered, smashed to bits

According to the sages

our scars make us who we are

But to have a scar we must stop the bleeding and heal the wound.

For now the blood still flows

the wounds are open

the battle continues

Into the Universe

Never before 
have I been asked
by so many people 
to pray

This moment
must require
immense 
energy
from all 
of us

We understand
(at last)
how much
we are bound
up in each 
other

Prayer
(to me)
is intention
not
transaction

So I breathe in
(deeply)
and breathe out
fully

and send
prayers

for 

strength

courage

peace

relief

patience

healing

grace

calm

presence

Take what you need
and share 
the rest
with 
others

© Betsy Rosenblatt Rosso
November 2020

Enough

Tell me about despair,
yours, and
I will tell you
mine

Meanwhile, we will
laugh and cry and scream
and threaten to
run away from home
and lose ourselves in
games and stories
and less wholesome vices
and make ourselves get out of bed
again
every morning
though sometimes
we will wear pajamas
all day

Meanwhile, we will
check on each other
more than usual
because we know
what it feels like
to be teetering
on the edge of sanity
(and to fall
over the precipice,
sometimes)

Does this get any easier?
I don’t believe so
Only more familiar

Meanwhile, we offer
absolution to
ourselves
as often as possible
because we tend to forget things
(and people,
sometimes)
because our brains
and our hearts
are overfull
and our bodies
are exhausted

We are making
more messes
and letting them linger
but we are
doing the best
we can

even when it’s not
enough

We are sitting with
our feelings
or under our feelings
(when they become oppressive and heavy)
or eating
our feelings
or telling those damn feelings to
get the hell our of our house
when we have had
ENOUGH

We are listening
to each other
that’s got to be
enough

© Betsy Rosenblatt Rosso (with gratitude to Mary Oliver)
October, 2020


There Is No Substitute for You

There is no substitute for you
no one else who knows what you know

Who says “Hello, my dear!” with such enthusiasm 
when I call, reporting that you are just hunky and dory.

There is no voice that sounds like yours
No one else who fusses quite the same way 
when someone tries to touch your hair
No one else with your signature scent of Charlie

There is no one else who can host a hen party like you
No one else with a stockpile of snacks and treats
you’re always willing to share

There is no one else who drove me around 
High Point to see the Christmas lights
and invited me on last minute shopping adventures
always letting me in on important secrets

There is no one else who would bake a 
strawberry birthday cake 
for my imaginary friend

There is no one else who understands 
Nana’s mysterious recipes so well
and makes them as faithfully,  
always offering encouragement 
when I call from my kitchen with questions 

There is no one else who supplied me with 
such wonderful socks for so many years 
that I had to learn, as an adult, how to buy socks

There is no one else who would leave 
her teeth at home 
when we go out to lunch 
and then just order something
that doesn’t require too much chewing. 

There is no one else who loves 
a good recliner like you do
who devours as many novels at the beach,
who loves to watch the kids splash and swim, 
who skunked us all at cornhole.

There is no one else who loves 
banana ice cream like you do,
well, except your sister.

There is no one else who calls her “Faye Marie.”

No one else who rode the 400 miles as soon
as she heard about her sissy’s stroke
and sat with her for weeks on end
and laughed with her at all the nonsense
until she learned to speak again.

There is no one else who reads 
my Facebook posts
and calls my mother 
as quickly as you to discuss
unfolding events.

There is no one else who keeps as close an eye 
on the weather in Virginia 
and calls us with cautionary alerts.

There is no one else I can count on 
to play Words with Friends
in the middle of the night 
so I know when you’re awake
and you ask why I’m awake
and you play risqué words and tell me,
“I bet you didn’t know I knew that word!” 
and I can hear you laugh.

There is no one else I love 
to watch get off the train 
as much as you
when you come to visit.

There is no substitute for you.

For FG
May 23, 1941 – August 13, 2020