by Amy Ferris
They can lift you, inspire you, move you, rattle you.
They can shape you, mold you, flatten you, devastate you.
They can cut you deep.
They can rip you to shreds.
They can make you brave.
They can fill you with courage.
They can haunt you forever.
They can hold you up or hold you back.
They can stop you dead in your tracks, or make you jump for joy.
They can let you go, or let you in.
They can relieve you, encourage you, enlighten you, enliven you.
They can be engraved or tattooed; promised or broken.
They can fill you with hope, with worry, with sorrow, with grace.
They can make you taller, and stronger and kinder and more generous.
They can melt your heart. Change your heart. Break your heart. Mend your heart.
They can anger you. Enrage you. Send chills up your spine.
They can fill you to the brim with goodness.
They can carry you, calm you, caress you and challenge you.
They can make you feel like a million bucks, or be offered up as two cents.
They are spoken, written, whispered, signed, danced to, silenced, shouted, screamed. They are shared, spilled, scattered, sung, performed.
They form sentences and paragraphs; poems and sonnets.
They are plagiarized, minimized, maximized, hyphenated, and sized to your favorite font. They are on cards, and mugs, and a picture can be worth a thousand of them.
They can wish you well or wish you gone.
They can fill a thousand pages or a post-it.
They can move the universe.
They can shake your soul.
They can change your mind.
They can make you weep.
They can make you proud.
They can be bold and audacious; cruel and nasty, and yes, they can put the fear of God in you.
They can sting you, or heal you.
They can whip you into shape or soothe your weary tired soul.
They can be forgiven but not forgotten.
They can be recited, memorized, remembered, recalled.
They can be tucked away for years and suddenly a memory.
They can make you cower or crawl; stand tall or stand up.
They can change you forever.
They can make you feel like you swallowed the sun.
They can save your life.