by Cynthia Cummins


This is what life does.

Makes you happy when you cry,

makes pain into joy under your clavicle,

heart smashing against your sternum


Sends a flush of red across

your neck, so you can’t hide your feelings.

Sends a bird song into

your ear so you can’t deny there’s flight.



Grateful to stand when they walk up front

and set the offering plates down.

Ushers in sticky Sunday suits, pulling their cuffs.


All rising.

Cold wood under my hand.

Mom’s elbow brushing mine.

Daddy still alive and

wearing his blue and white striped seersucker jacket.

Shaven, attentive, smell of old spice.

He was always a good boy.


Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Praise him all creatures here below.


Here below the gaping sky,

there’s rain down my face,

a sudden summer storm.

And sun on the other side.

I lead writing and mindfulness workshops throughout the Bay Area. My approach is adaptable in many settings — from helping groups honor an important life event to assisting a business team in articulating a shared vision. Contact me to learn more. For information on my San Francisco real estate practice, visit or