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  • I found the poem below posted on my FB page this morning in October 2012. It was first written by Lengo on Cowbird last summer and dedicated to me. I was looking for it last night, in fact. And there it was. Yet another example of online synchronicity.

    Sadly, Lengo and her stories are no longer on Cowbird. Thus, I sent her a cosmic smile back at seeing how strong our connection is...that she would post it on my FB page this morning!

    Thus, this story is an unique form of 'Retell.'

    Of course, she and I have never met in person. But we have met. By reading each other's stories, we have met. Throughout the poem she uses references to my stories. (Though I think the red shoes belonged to yet a third woman and are in a museum somewhere. They are the image she used with her original story.)

    My response: Thank you very much in so many ways, Eleni. Thank you for reading my stories. And thank you for your creativity and generosity and your thoughtfulness in sending your dedicated words to me. But most deeply...thank you for seeing, for reflecting, and for letting me know. And above and beyond all that, thank you for our Connection! Love, Barbara

    I heard you saying “When is my turn?”
    It was the end of winter before an optional summer

    Your voice was fragile like a little girl’s
    But not your travels

    Whisper to me
    How did you keep this fragile voice in tact
    Through all this time,
    Through all these steps?

    Talk to me about that woman in the flat shoes
    The one that walks through deserts of turmoil
    To carry water for others.

    Talk to me about that girl who chose those red shoes
    Talk to me about these red shoes that made this girl become a woman.

    Play for me your crystal tunes
    Show me the photo of your tiny room back then
    The crooked bed that held your lonely body from collapse.

    Talk to me about your loves
    The predatory loves that occupied your thoughts,
    before you turned them side by side to face each other.

    Circle this love, the all embracing love.

    Show me the star maps on your skin
    The ones that someone once aligned
    Tracing your moles behind your back.

    Sit on the stone that smiles to you
    Show me the hawk that stares at you
    up on the fence in your back garden.

    Bathe me in sparkling water light
    in uninhabited terrain
    of incoherent order.

    Now is your turn
    To teach me how you learn.
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