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Friday, July 28, 2017

The Smell of Goodbye

The Smell of Goodbye

Calloused feet more used to fleeing than dance
Creep shoeless,
Heel straps laced between fingers.
Breath is scrubbed clean by the half-stick
Twin of the gum snuck in
Before making love
Only hours ago.

Obligation observes
Her final kiss
Placed chastely on the brave, sleeping abandoned.
She aches to feel strong enough
To fend off
Ever-approaching shadows,
But failure has won.

Using her tongue to calm the
Minted mass hiding between chattering teeth
She burrows her naked toes and
Leans in once more before flight,

Inhaling the scent of what might have been.

© Jennifer McBride, Cape of Leaves

Jenni McBride McNamara is a Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist in Saint Paul, MN. For more information about Jenni and her practice, please visit

To order Cape of Leaves, click here.

Friday, July 21, 2017

"Renewed strength...comes alive"


Look at the towering aspens
On this frigid December day.
Their frosty tops, like the heads of
A whole colony of ancient royalty,
Are gray and fuzzy like
Self-inflicted permanent waves
Gone mad.

Yet they still seem regal in their
Sameness and their

But now, the low-skied morning sun
That was causing curly twigs
To glow as if with silver crowns
Has instigated a grand melt.

Even as we watch, the crystals that
Decorated them and
Named them as
Kings and Queens
Have begun to weep
And seep down their limbs.

Eyes made wise by years of reigning
Stare from trunks
Refusing to blink the tears
Out of their lashes.

Instead they let the fresh new water
Run down each wrinkle and crack
Toward its loam-blanketed destination.

With liquid offering
Poured on throne steps,
Renewed strength to
Rule another season or two

Comes alive.

© Jennifer McBride, Cape of Leaves

For more information:
To order Cape of Leaves, click here.

Cape of Leaves

A few years ago, I found myself in a period of intense, immense, invigorating, and terrifying growth. During that time, one of my many coping mechanisms was to write...and write...and write. I didn't journal so much as I wrote in metaphor, sometimes turning the metaphor into a chapter and sometimes turning it into a poem.

For the next few Fridays, I'll be posting some of the poems that I think speak most to people who are in relationship transition. They are meant to be starting points for discussion, even if it's just a discussion with yourself.

Now that I'm a therapist, I see clients benefit from writing, journaling, making or participating in music, meditating, exercising, and taking care of themselves by committing to their futures. How are you giving yourself the care you need?

If you're in a tough relationship transition right now, or haven't fully completed one that you experienced before, let me know. In the meantime, take good care of yourself!

To order my book, Cape of Leaves, click here.

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