Statues and Stones

Thank you to artist Elise Valdorcia
for the loan of her studio. 
It's my birthday!

I woke to a text from a niece
sent at 12 am


A fully decorated kitchen
rainbow banners, streamers, and signs
and a handwritten note, 
“Happy 51st Birthday, Mama.
See you in a couple of hours.”
Black Dry Erase on lined notebook paper.
My 13-year-old daughter.

They know I wake early.
They planned ahead.

Who knew anyone liked me?
Don't they see my pride?
My arrogance?
Do they know I send God to-do lists?
They often say I'm not listening to them.
It's not that.
Sometimes I can't hear them; it's very loud in here.
Artists chipping, scraping, smoothing,
Carving out the next beautiful thing.
Is there no limit to the number of unfinished projects
a mind can keep in its basement studio?

Rumi wrote,
"Think of an ant that wants to fly. Wonderful.
He digs at the palace wall. He claims to be Solomon.
He demands a crown. This is how we are."

I feel much more like the ant and far less like Solomon lately,
until I survey the museum gardens and see that the stones I planted
have grown into angels.