this year and last year,
two collections of stories
placed together on pages
in my mind of memories,
have seemed to include
more conflict and questions
than should be allowed
in the mingling
of twenty-four months.

deaths and disappointments came,
as they do.
promises were not kept,
as they should’ve been.
fulfillments are still in waiting,
as they often are.

funeral services.
news reports.
deep division.
hospital visits.
wearing masks.
staying apart.
painful protests.
political hate.
harsh words.
severe storms.
short tempers.
long walks.
long waits.
long years.

though unpleasant and painful,
these days and weeks could’ve
been worse than they were,
and still could
be worse then they are.

positive perspective isn’t always denial.
it can be a better focus,
staring toward tomorrow through
the lens of faith.

believing, still, though sad.
hoping, still, though asking why.
trusting, still, toward better days.

the adventures of 2019 and 2020
are ending. though
the consequences
of the 104 weeks
might remain noticeable
in bank accounts,
in stress levels,
in how well we will
still trust words voiced
as promises given,
the years are ending.

numbers of years change, so,
can we change?
for the better,
can we change?

learning, while choosing to love.
asking, while waiting with anticipation.
smiling, from deep within.
praying, from hopeful hearts.
can we choose
healthy views
through the stormy clouds
and notice better days
coming our way?
in a different december
concluding two difficult years,
can we?