When I meet you

when I meet you
from a small farming town in the rolling hills of Ohio
green and lush with decidous trees
your family farming since 1820

you New Yorker
you know just where to find authentic Italian, Eastern European, Somali food
you hate the muddy, winter city puddles
but loves a summer New York day and can dress to kill

you Oregonian
who grew up on a Christmas tree farm
where trees drip green and sheep and rabbits are part of your backyard
you know the endless trails, the rocky coast
you can’t imagine pumping your own gas and Dutch bro’s are where you go to get a friendly smile

you Californian
you know Hollywood mixed with politics mixed with lots of sprouts and avocados
perfect weather, expensive homes and endless traffic are as natural to you as the Rocky mountains are to me
but you know where to escape the people in the Sierra Nevada forests and pristine beaches

you Utah son and daughter
born into the arms of a community that embraced you
in a mix of care and rules, encouragment and boundaries
you know the deserts and wild areas and blaze of stars in a desert night

you Wyoming chic
who grew up shooting and riding as you learned to walk
independent and intertwined with the land
singing country music and two steping on a Friday night

and me from Denver
in my yoga pants and Birenstocks
with a hundred great coffee shops to choose from
where I and most everybody else owns a dog and walks them endlessly
and all I can ever think to do on a great summer day is hike
and a great winter day ski
where the smell of marijuana reminds me of my city

I think about the divergent flavors of our lives
I’m curious about the differences
I reject the labels and the stereotypes
though we may be unalike, we are still the same
unrelated and disparate but connected by our common humanity
I feel sure your life is built around the same essentials mine is
loving my people, surviving the bills, finding small happinesses and pleasures to pass the days

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