You are the seed I am contemplating, as if I were soil feeling nourished enough to offer a place for deep roots, as if I were grounded. I am like a traveler, however, passing through; sections of me eroding, year after year.

Photo credit: Heidi Fettig Parton


you hold your breath; you hope it doesn’t happen again

you scramble for ground to stand on; everything’s turned grey

there is no one to guide you; but prayers are offered

was it just Thursday night when everything was so normal?

it was still the before and we laughed together on the couch

we had concert tickets for Friday night; had we finally arrived
at normal?

3:50 am, Friday morning, the “Daddy” cry comes and it’s not
just another nightmare

fever, sore ear–same ear that endured five hour surgery to remove
cholesteatoma* five months earlier; he can’t hear out of ear

wait for 8:00 am; phone call blitz to appropriate doctors,
nurse practitioners; two trips to pharmacy; get antibiotics
so we can wait again out here in the land of not normal

later, the world is awash in grief for France, and so am I.
awash in grief for us all; the uncontrollable of life
is highlighted

waiting for love to conquer all; waiting for hope to
transplant the dread; we fall to sleep that night with our
boy tucked between us

feeling for his fever all night long, I don’t sleep
as you predicted; I want to keep him safe always
I want to know surgeries and terror strikes are done

I want to laugh with you on the couch,

Heidi Fettig Parton

*More information on cholesteatoma.

My Photo with Juhan Liiv’s Poem

Leaves Fell

A gust roused the waves,
leaves blew into the water,
the waves were ash-gray,
the sky tin-gray,
ash-gray the autumn.

It was good for my heart:
there my feelings were ash-gray,
the sky tin-gray,
ash-gray the autumn.

The breath of wind brought cooler air,
the waves of mourning brought separation:
autumn and autumn
befriend each other.

Juhan Liiv (Translated by: H.L. Hix and Juri Talvet)
Source: Poetry (June 2011)
Seeing Through Illusion
Seeing Through Illusion

Trust this Love

“Trust this love,” you tell me.

Can I just trust you to love me
how you love me,
which seems rather wonderful.
Instead of all this
looking back at past
sorrows that I cannot
change or correct.
To let go into this moment,
into you and your
deep pools of
the way you
can join together my
disconnected thoughts.
The way your quick mind
sends forth this salve; just
the probing question to
turn me from the infinite
trail of “what ifs;”
the way you can intuit
what you are feeling and
tell me when I am hurting you,
at the time I am hurting you,
rather than carrying it
around silently in small
atomic packages of
cold war sentiments,
never knowing when
will be achieved.

The way you turn in your sleep
to hold me once again
after I’ve moved away.

This is the photo of me he loves; the one in which I see my wrinkles, and big nose, and lifeless middle-aged hair. And he says again: Trust this love.
This is the photo of me he loves; the one in which I see my wrinkles, and big nose, and lifeless middle-aged hair. And he says again: Trust this love.

How the Steeple Casts its Shadow

A poem written on the day I turn forty-five,

after a month of exhausting myself with worry

over my son’s right ear.

At 45 years of age, I’ve noticed that

the journey is no longer

about getting somewhere.

Instead, I arrive to each day as it comes.

Here, I will stand as the aged tree with lost limbs:

always reaching, always grounding. Here,

I can both feel sunlight and offer shade.

How much is lost in translation?

How would it change things to know

the Great Teacher did not say,

Do not be afraid, but rather,

Embrace it all?

Crows do not seem to ask why

they’ve returned to the same rooftop.

Perhaps, however, they wonder

how the steeple will cast its shadow.

At 45 years of age, living with

openheartedness matters more

than tracking slippery happiness;

asking how seems more productive

than asking why.

Heidi Fettig Parton


The Cold

I am not ensconced in a sheath of
soft red velvet
but in slow-moving, thick
white mucus
that makes everything turn into
irrelevant dollops
of time pressing onto vast fields
of nothingness
until this ear thump, throat scratch,
jelly swallow
subsides and I can once again use
language as
a person who is moving forward
with life.

Heidi Fettig Parton

(first published on my experimental blog:

Redemption (they said)

They said

crows are intelligent,

watching people

so they might

leave appropriate gifts.

This past week,

the crows have been

leaving slices of

bread in my backyard.

I haven’t eaten gluten

in over two years.


My five-year-old

crows for attention

with his little

Peter Pan smile.


They said

I needed a

penlight to

record my

dreams and,

when I finally

ordered one,

a box arrived

with 25.


becomes light

sabers for

five-year old boys)

They asked,

what about

hosting a

Yin Yoga and

Embodied Writing


They asked,

what about


wine and bread?