If you received Joy from me

please return to sender.

I think the box is empty.

The packaging

the bows and the ties

the pretty paper

and shiny tags —

those aren’t her.

Joy has gone missing:

I meant to wrap her for you,

send her first class,

give you the thrill

of unwrapping her,

surprising you

delighting you.


she slipped

from my fingertips

out into the world

of simple things

of little moments.

Can you take my hand

and help me find her–

even if she isn’t dressed up

like a holiday

dolled up

like a pretty thing?

Can we search for her

in the meadows and creeks,

off in the woods

slipping our toes into candled soil

whose wick burns

of earth and decay?

Can we look inside

the grocery store

the pump at the gas station

the car ride

on the way to run errands?

I’m sure she is there,

at the edge of the bed

or in the cracks of the kitchen floor

waiting to be found

by us.

So please:

return to sender

and let’s go have

a proper look.


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