Like a Thief In the Night Or Like a Second Coming

By Annette Marie Hyder

Love has sly feet
and sticky fingers
has wings
and sometimes uses them
is a chameleon
a charmer
a fatal disarmer
with ropes of pearls
to scale the highest walls
and a burglar’s toolkit to die for.

Love can come trumpeted on a cloud
or in the shadow of a secret smile.
Love might be wearing silks that flow like water
and satins that sing like nightingales
or a monk’s brown robes might cloak Love’s form,
sash-tied with steely gray.
Like a prick of the spindle or on Icarus wings —
Love swoons and pounces
laughs and cries
metamorphosizes like a butterfly.

Love is all these things
and love is more
but love is not just for a chosen few,
not only for me and not only for you.
Love is not the privilege of any one group
nor its exclusive purview.
Love belongs to everyone.
Please help support equal marital rights for all.
Thank you.

Be a part of history

The Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments TODAY on Prop. 8 and tomorrow on DOMA.

We need as many Americans as possible to show their support for equality.

Sign HRC’s Majority Opinion petition and help make these discriminatory laws history.

Buying Flowers for My Aunt

By Annette Marie Hyder

I am most drawn to the white ones, ghostly and pure
stripped of any mark of jubilant color
modest and un-encroaching in their vases demure,

feel insulted by the busy pinks, the glad yellows,
as well as the arrangements that I can’t afford but really prefer.
I conflate thoughts of her beautiful face with the very idea of flower

and the wan and washed out whites speak to me even more.
This will be the first occasion I have ever gotten flowers for my aunt.
Eunice would have liked them had I thought to get them for her I am sure.

I think of buttercups, whoops-a-daisies, crowns of flowers
she made with me, of following her small waist and long brown hair
through a meadow crowded with cheering throngs of flowers

and how hard I cried when she left to go to England
the end of the world and the loss of  her to me
but she came back and for most of the time there was I lived my life

without letters and phone calls, without bouquets of flowers
without reconnecting with my favorite aunt for reasons that still
aren’t clear to me. Now she is gone to a farther shore than England’s

and petals might as well be wishes filled with futility —
free-falling confetti that floats on the dull air and drifts to land
in tremulous piles of if-onlys at my feet. My bowed head is not

reverentially tilted but keened to the posture of regret
and if petals were wishes I’d pluck every last one
just to wish for the chance to let her see

how her temper, her laughter and mischief, her kindness
and crossness and cuteness bloom forever
as a flower of love, for her inside of me.

Sunday Things: Jasmine and Jennifer

Sometimes objects transcend the confines of their utilitarian objectives. It is as if they too possess souls in the form of meaning and possibilities and their souls are, in some circumstances, too large for the shell that contains them.

Imagine such an object in the form of a violin that symbolizes a young girl’s yearnings for something special and beyond what she has or is capable of at the present moment. Violins are expensive and frivolous indeed if there are budgetary restraints and considerations for things more immediately important and necessary.

But a violin that is yearned for with all of a young girl’s heart is so much more than just a violin. It is the promise of elegant dexterity in drawing forth from the polished piece cradled in one’s hands sighs and murmurs of beauty mingled so thoroughly with music that they are one and the same. It is aspiration with strings, a box crafted with wings, both friend and vehicle for a wondrous journey.

Yesterday my daughter had a special birthday celebration dinner with her step-mom, Jennifer, and family, Jude, Romeo and Andrew (I was there too!). At the end of dinner the wait staff came out clapping and singing and carrying a large wrapped present. Imagine my shock when Jasmine opened her present to her dreams come true — a violin. Jasmine is besotted with that violin!

We were driving over to Jennifer’s house after leaving the restaurant and I couldn’t help but notice the fog on the steep hillsides. It reminded me of the Smokey Mountains. “Isn’t that beautiful!?” I asked Jasmine. “Yes! Yes it is.” she breathed dreamily. Glancing over at her I saw her gazing rapturously at her violin.

I’ve been blown away every time I think of Jennifer’s getting a violin for Jasmine. Even more than the beauty of the violin itself, the beauty of the gesture is what takes my breath away.

“I used my income tax return money to buy it.” Jennifer told me. “Objects, things, they  don’t matter so much to me anymore but I would do anything for Jasmine.”

Jasmine showed me the card that Jenny got her. On the inside flap is this:

I have loved you with an everlasting love… — Jeremiah 31:3 NIV


By Annette Marie Hyder

and the ocean is rocking, rocking
her baby to sleep
while the stars in the sky
promise to keep
the heavens held like a canopy
to soar overhead
to ripple with all the breezes of dream
and never fall down, and never fall down
rest and drift asleep

Ways of sharing a world view

When my daughter was a baby I never sang her all the right words to the best loved lullabies. Take “Rock-a-bye Baby” for instance and its refrain of  “Rock-a-bye baby, on the treetops, When the wind blows, the cradle will rock, When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall, And down will fall baby, cradle and all.” I always sang the last two lines as “When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall, And mama will catch baby, bough, cradle and all.” I just didn’t want to be crooning messages of impending disaster and imminent doom into her little ears.

So I made up my own lullabies. That is where all the original lullabies came from, right? From individuals. I wanted to share my view of a world where she was safe and if anything threatened her I would be there for her.

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, I’ve been thinking about the way my own mother shaped and influenced me and hoping that the ways that I have chosen to emulate her — or not — are the right ways for me and my daughter. I want all of my communications, verbal and non-verbal (the way I live my life) from lullaby to last words to sing from my heart to hers with purity and goodness.

Links of interest:
Rutger’s University: Mother Goose: A Scholarly Exploration
Betty Kenny Tree
Rock-a-Bye Baby Wikipedia

The Tumblr proposal heard ’round the Internet

Via Gawker, this:

The Tumblr Proposal That Every Internet Geek You Know is Talking About

Last night Justin Johnson gave all the hopeless romantics on tumblr something to “aww” over: He took over every tumblr user’s dashboard to propose to girlfriend Marissa Nystrom using a video he made about the six years they’d been together.

Marissa, will you marry me? from justin on Vimeo.


It looks like she said yes — Congrats to Marissa and Justin ❤