Melinda Emily Thomas

Melinda Emily Thomas is the author of Sacred Balance: Aligning Body and Spirit through Yoga and the Benedictine Way(Broadleaf Books, 2020). She delights in trees and mountains and flowers and seas. She lives in North Carolina with her son whose room is always a mess and whose smile brings her joy. You can find more of her writing at

My Own Kind of Magic

It seems so ridiculous and naive
to stake my claim on writing books
and frame the longing as knowing and 
knowing as calling and 
calling as fate.

Someday will one day become this day.

On that day I won’t enjoy trees any more than I do now.
The glint of sunlight on water will not be sweeter
nor the smile on my child’s face,
nor the cup of tea at hand.

A dream arrived will not change the fundamental elements of sorrow or joy.
Those are always mine to choose, relying on 
no greater magic than my own attention. 

Sangre de Cristo

New Mexico. 
And the endless O’Keefe sky
dotted by rainbows as the balloons
rise at dawn.
I shiver and sip hot chocolate.
I snap a picture and send it 
to you with the caption
“Mass Ascension”
which is sort of a joke between us. 

Before I left you spotted me
in a room and lit up
like the desert sun celebrating
over the crest of the 
Sangre de Cristo mountains
on whose backs I fulfilled
a vision of myself I clung to 
during those long years of fatigue.

On the mesa at night
with the sage and ravens and stars
my heart started to beat again
of its own accord. 

In the Sangre de Cristo
my cup of salvation.

I had so much hope 
there under the hansa yellow Cottonwood
on the banks of the Rio Grande.

It lasted awhile longer,
the way you looked at me
over your shoulder
or right into my eyes and heart
and I felt things I hadn’t known in an age.
My ascension.

Until the balloons came back to earth.
Their colored nylon crumpled in the brush.
Baskets empty.

Oh to have ridden in the balloon
and seen the land outstretched for days.
To see how you’d react to my honesty
so I could change the words and the outcome.

New Mexico was two years ago.
The sky. The balloons. The Cottonwood.
The parts of myself I located on the mountain.
They’re all still here even though you are not. 

So I go back to the mountain.
My own ascent.
My own cup of salvation.


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