“Enough” by Andrea Gibson

Last night I painted a purple tree on my bedroom wall
I woke up this morning in a pile of leaves
The colour of a million different faces
Thinking of that hand that planted the seed
Of the family tree that grew us all
And how each one of us
Will one day fall back to the ground

This morning
I was listening to my heart pound
Knowing with every single beat
That a thousand other hearts were falling asleep forever
On a day they never thought they would
And I know there are tribes of aborigines
That decide how and when they’ll die
After a hundred years or so
They walk into the desert alone
Offer up their breath
And within two minutes soar into a death
As beautiful as their life
And I was thinking I
Will probably never be enlightened enough to decide how I want to die

So this morning
I decided how I want to live
What I want to give
What kind of song I want to sing
Now I’m no longer
Looking at my days like they’re a cup
Calling them half empty or half full
When they’ve always been enough
They’ll always be enough
To fill me up
If I stop thinking so much
And start drinking them up
Until I get so drunk and high on my days
I’ll be walking up to strangers and saying things like
“Hey, I know Jesus was born in a manger
But I woke at dawn today
To watch the earth’s horizon
Give birth to true rising sun of God
And I can’t stop singing hallelujah”

Can you believe we’re here?
Can you believe there are gods somewhere praying to us?
I want to be that nut on a bus
Who’s really a prophet
Telling everybody
“Smoking is bad
Stop it
You might be an opera singer some day
And how are you gonna hit the high notes?”
I wanna live like those high notes
That rise from the throats of old ladies
When they see little babies
Riding in shopping carts
I wanna start somebody’s heart like that
Taking ninety years back
So you’ll have sworn
You weren’t born
Until you saw me
Planting roses
In all the sidewalk cracks
So when you trip
You’ll fall in love
With someone you thought you hated
And now look at what that love has created

Look
There’s a sky
On her faded blue jeans
With a flock of birds
About to fly to my words
And my next line’s
Gonna rhyme with her eyes
And she’ll wink
And I’ll think I’m as beautiful as him

I wanna live my life
Like it’s a little league game
I don’t care if I win
Just wanna watch some little girl
Get her very first hit
Watch her father cheer so hard
He spills his beer
And decides to quit
I wanna split some woman’s
Tired eyes open
Wake her with her own sunrise
So she knows
There’s reason to be hoping
She’ll say
“There are stingers in my heart
But I’m sure that I’m a queen”
And that night
She’ll vow to swarm
Until every angry car horn
Is reborn a song
Of let there be light
Every angry war cry reborn
A song of let there be life

I wanna build the timid teenage boy
A microphone that will
Echo his rhymes
The same way
They echo in his shower
When he’s home alone

I wanna write poems
In the tone
Of your mother’s eyes
When she whispered your name
For the very first time
Poems that will make you go home
Pick up the phone
And call her
While I call mine to say
“You know those lines
On the kitchen wall
Where I grew
Taller and taller and taller
Put a couple more there won’t you?
Cause I’m growing up here”
No longer looking at my days
Like they’re a cup
Calling them enough
From now on
They’ll be overflowing
Since now I’m knowing
It’s up to me
To fill them up

~ Andrea Gibson

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