when joy comes
she rarely knocks boldly on the door
or walks right in

when joy comes
she gently taps
and waits for me
to open the door
letting it in

light as a butterfly’s wings
she flutters in
carrying hope
and light
and the whisper
of laughter

as joy alights around the room
on the gossamer wings
of a dragonfly
momentarily caught inside
looking for an exit strategy

and when joy comes
she looks me square in the eye
and invites me to play
like my neighbors did
growing up

when joy comes
I may not recognize her
at first
but she will seem as
as the gleam of recognition
in my best friend’s eyes
or the gentle touch
of my grandmother’s weathered hands
in the silky softness of
my cat’s fur
as she purrs on my lap
or the beauty in the rising sun
or the strings of
Yo-Yo Ma’s cello on the stereo
or the voice of a poet
marveling at the majestic
in an ordinary moment
or the text from my son
just checking in
or the shining night stars
as I watch for the Perseids
or the sound of my dad’s voice
on the phone
telling me about his day
or the wisp of your laughter
echoing across the lake
as I remember you

when joy comes
and breathes new life
into me
I hope I am home
to answer the door

for when joy comes
she is everywhere
and it is up to us
to recognize her