Writes With Pencils

fiction, memoir, essays and poetry

Tag: Optimism

Good News Tuesday


After perusing the pastry case
and deciding on nothing,
before I ordered my coffee
it was sitting there, on the counter
a single, short latte
perfectly made
served in a hand-painted cup
exactly the way I like it
made by a young woman
whom I’d barely noticed on previous visits
whose name I didn’t know.
In response to my look of disbelief
she responded simply,
“I know what you drink”
and she did.
I smiled and asked her name
as I thanked her.
I’d been seen without even knowing it.

Earlier in the morning
I’d walked with a friend who was troubled,
the sunshine and air
birdsong and motion
gave her no comfort, no sense of ease.
So I listened and walked,
walked and listened, and finally shared
a story of my private struggle
to which she responded
“You sound just like me”
then she shared with me
an unshared story
and I watched her shoulders drop
and felt her breath expand
as she began to release her burden
of many years
as she felt seen, no longer alone.

As I drank my perfect coffee
I read the local news
of a young man who decided to forego
the flash of a single night
of dinner and dancing
the end of high school,
to throw a party for homeless women:
the forgotten, ignored, and invisible.
I imagined the women dressing
in donated evening clothes
and selecting their dinners
from the menu prepared by student cooks
and sitting at tables covered with cloths.
And I thought of the gifts he would give them
not only of dresses and dinner and fun,
but of choices and respect
and most of all, of being seen.


Find a Penny


As I payed my parking meter
you passed behind me
then stopped,
and doubled back three feet
to pick up a penny
from the sidewalk.
Embarrassed, you smiled sheepishly
and apologized
though you’d done me no wrong.
“I don’t really believe in it, but…”
your voice trailed
as you clutched your prize.
I smiled back and hoped
that you did believe
that all that day
you’d have good luck.

Wear Boots


Don’t bemoan puddles
on your journey’s muddy trail;
they reflect the sky.



Glasses hold water
or words on a page
and mountain views for miles.
Half full, half empty,
or appropriate for their contents-
which do you believe
as you drink
from your spectacles?

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