Christina Buckman


5:50 am 

A dream vignette splintered into reality. 

Sore muscles of last night’s workout.

A daily success, even before dawn. 


Eyes half closed, coffee on my mind. 

Reasons to call in, rejected by fierce routine. 


“Alexa, play KEXP.” 


Black coffee, a little cream please. 

Two eggs over easy.

Seed toast, no butter.

Eggs stick to a cheap skillet, yolks break.

But I don’t. 


6:30 A.M. and I dress.  

Demanding comfort over fashion, I impress no one.

I pack up like a nomad. 

A lot could happen in 8 miles. 

I have more of my mother in me than I like to admit.


I check and then recheck the oven. A little OCD in me I guess. 


Rapid Ride C Line: The Red Dragon of West Seattle. 

Its trajectory, mapped for our convenience. 

I hope it doesn’t eat me alive.


Familiar faces, smiles left at home. 

Human connection veiled in glowing screens.

I can play that game too, and nose to book 

I sneak glances.


She’s wearing a pink scarf and shoes: She must love pink. 

I love that tattoo. Wonder what it means?  

He wears plaid and is a walking North Face billboard. 

And he never returns my smile. 

Ring fingers, adorned, and I’m in the minority. 

A club I was kicked out of.

Couples holding hands while I silently judge their ability to love.


Work: A refuge where my thoughts get the boot. 

My 9-hour day married the Red Dragon. 

Together forever. 

Connection manifests through laughs and jokes.

Simplicity and kindness.

It’s just work after all. No need to get all emotional about it. 

But I do. 


I love to go home.

I hate to go home. 

I keep too busy.


I never said being alone is terrible. 

But too much of a good thing is nevergood. 

A decade of love’s failure.

With the patience of a glacier, I’ve waited.


The gym wins out again over dinner. 

Recirculating the blood that has pooled while tethered to my desk. 

A silent resentment, released.


A finale, a reward. 

Eucalyptus mist obscures my expression. 

We are all invisible here. 

A sigh, a stretch, a deep breath to inhale what inevitably must go out.

Gray-swirled tile, slippery with moisture, dripping from a slanted ceiling. 

Condensation forms on my dry skin, blonde arm hair glistening in low light. 

Little beads finding the natural curves of my body, that I’m still learning to love. 

Knees to chest, I rest.


9:30 PM. It’s late. I am getting older. 

I choose the right side of the bed and make room for the pillows on the left. 

I keep to the right.


A familiar feeling in my chest. 

It’s trajectory to my extremities, palpable. 

A deep longing. 

The night is unkind,

And I fight it like a warrior. 


“Alexa, play thunderstorms and rain.”

And she does.   



The wilderness inside took root. 

A slow warming of my core. 

In eagerness, I gave permission to ground. 

I seek, it guides. 


And it listens. 

A murmur. A rustle. 

Whispers audible across a moon-tinged alpine lake.


These trails I walk, our ancestors blazed.  

I am a shadow of reverence.

Awestruck with each ascension,

Cathedral vistas await my gratitude.

A warrior, humbled. 


The scent of sun-burned pine needles blanket the forest floor. 

Lupines grace a fragrant summer meadow,

Tickles the touch.

Savory and sweet mingle.  


Green, the color of peace.

I say it’s the color of my soul. 



A little deadly. 

It waits for the sun to show it the life it’s meant to live. 


Lost in the climb, I debate the mental dance of the why.

The indisputable worth.

The demands on my body and its limits.


One foot in front of the other, there is nothing else.

A calling I nearly missed.


Each mile forward,

A thousand lifetimes yet to be revealed. 

My feet tell the real tales. 

With my heart in the lead, I learn to go my own way.