by John Roedel

today would be a good day

for the two of us to take turns telling

each other what we remember

about the place we were before

we were born

I’ll go first

for me, I just have a few strands of

images left for me to cling to of what

I can recall

in the great before,

I remember rows and rows

of thick Juniper Trees

and the stone fountain

in front of them that

poured out the clearest

water I’ve ever see that

had little these little

radiant jelly fish swimming

around inside of it

or were they just stars?

I’m not sure – I can’t quite remember

I can recall being told by a voice

not to drink from the fountain

because doing so would send

me to Earth before I was ready

so, I didn’t

~ I wasn’t ready

not by a long shot

I rather enjoyed

this cosmic womb

I was resting in

I remember the smell

of nutmeg

it was everywhere

maybe that’s why I love Christmas

so much now?

and I remember you

oh, how I remember you

standing there in a white sun dress

or were you floating?

I’m not sure – I can’t quite remember that part

I recall the gold of your hair

blending in with the tawny sky

yes, I saw you in the before

~ long before you saw me

you were too busy laughing at a couple

dozen flamingos who were parading

around you

or were they angels?

I’m not sure – I can’t quite remember that part

Oh, how you glowed

I didn’t recognize it at the time

but you blazed like a lamp hung

up on the porch of a cabin in the bayou


like the long flame of a baptismal candle

like the new day sun over a Carolina gulf

like the burn of a campfire I want to sit around

like the way sunlight kisses stained glass


one of those radiant jelly fish (or were they stars?)

that were floating in the stone fountain

that’s why you were glowing

you had just drank the water

it was your time for Earth

you were going soon

the flamingos (or were they angels?)

that were parading for you

formed a tight circle

and began to dance

their necks twisting around each other

~ forming ancient symbols

out of their contorting form

it was a choreographed

routine they have

been practicing for

all of eternity

just for you

and then I remember that

you were laughing so loud

~ watching them pirouette around you

and you were

swaying your lovely hips

to a song that nobody else

but you and the flamingos (maybe angels)

could hear




it was entrancing

I was pulled to you

~ into the gravity of your grace


then closer

closer till

I was orbiting you

like a moon

basking in the revelation of

your flamingo dance

that’s when you noticed me for the first time,

do you remember that?

you smiled

it was like lightning

~ a burst of beauty

then a few seconds later

a deep thunder in my formless body

and then

just like


you were gone

in a flash

I think it happened that quick

maybe you slowly faded away?

I’m not sure – I can’t quite remember that part

either way

you were gone

you were Earthbound

the flamingos (angels?) dispersed

and I was left alone

in your celestial wake

I had to follow you

I had to ~I had to ~I had to

I walked to the fountain

or was I floating?

I’m not sure – I can’t quite remember that part

and I cupped my hands down

into the glistening water

it was so cold

~ and suddenly I was very thirsty

I knew I wasn’t ready

to go but I had to find you

I had to ~I had to ~I had to

I had to chase you into the unknown

no matter the cost

no matter the danger

no matter the fact that I wasn’t ready

I took the water up to my lips

and drank

the water felt like bubbles

in my stomach

~ a couple at first

then a hundred

million more followed

I started laughing

the flamingos (angels! they were angels!

I’m sure of it now!) started their parade

around me

and I felt this gentle tugging on my soul

and I started to glow

and I couldn’t stop laughing

and that’s all I can remember

now I’m standing here

in this kitchen with you

wearing your pink pajamas

adorned with flamingos

watching you sway

your lovely hips to

a song that only you

can hear

today is a good day

to tell you that

I’m so glad

I chased you

across the cosmos

I may have not been ready for Earth

but I was ready for you

to be here

in a house surrounded

by Juniper Trees

with you

me with my coffee

(that features a sprinkles of nutmeg in it)

in my hand

and you with your

gold woven hair

watching you glow

all over again

watching you notice

me all over again

watching your smile

become a bayou lantern

watching you




it’s like heaven

all over again

~ john roedel (johnroedel.com)

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