It has been years since I last saw her;
Still I wait for her each day,
Even knowing, as I do, she no longer exists
As I once knew her… but something of her is there:
Still the person in whose eyes I hope to shine,
One who visits in occasional dreams,
Occupies every prayer, her face
Smiles from photographs on my desk.
Houses on the curving street are lined
With flawless beds of flowers, children
Walk their dogs, play badminton, smile.
Yet even warm and dazzling weather
Brings her voice upon humid air, rising
Clouds taunting, aimless, ruthless….
So this is grief… this passing of the seasons,
From late spring to summer heat….
Promised lengthening of days,
Crushing into awareness of the years
Passing, distance hourly growing, memories
Retreating, floating, washing ashore again each day.
Walking half a block is like climbing a cliff,
Hands shaking, seeking absolution as much as
Offering forgiveness, tender words never heard,
Pacing back and forth at night in empty rooms.
Bits and pieces emerge from hiding without warning;
Thoughts never satisfying nor answers fully understood.
Sometimes evening whimpers; sometimes curses cry
Against backdrop of silent glimmering stars….
What peace is there to cultivate in such silence?
Can I hope for love to lessen?
Is the worst over or yet to come?
All I ask is for a little extra,
Such as timbermen make for working in the forest or
Fishermen who ply dangerous seas, heaving to and fro
Among the waves, then having to clean the fish amidst
Such stink that cannot be dispensed. Just recompense
What is fair, an extra portion for showing up on time, perhaps
Guaranteed retirement with full wages for a lifetime given,
Exchanged for election with my vote, my entreaty made….
Please, please, no austerity that might destroy a lifestyle,
Pension planned, already spent in dreams received,
Collected taxes volunteered— it’s only fair, this plea,
This bargain that was promised, this future
Now diminished, lost, taken by the Furies and the wind.
A lean wind drowns out the mourning cries.
Fire leaves the sun, extends the wish
Beyond all ideas of progress or immortality….
But never this imagined flow of grace
Returns to spread a speech unrecognized,
Victim forever gone from grave to spring….
Dancing all the way home, a new world of love,
Not born of flesh, but Pentecost, ten thousand
Dreams forever, nevermore to nowhere
This reign that leaps upward, ascending
Heart to heart till in the crested wave
All is won and all is One!
Today is Mother’s Day,
Inviting me to be more feminine
As I give birth to this poem….
Touch the mighty tenderness within,
Explore the resilience, the curls of light,
Dissolve with love the desolation of the world,
Learn a new landscape of deeper kindness,
Let go of the need for logic to inform.
Slowly, I unfold my heart as a cloth carefully
Hidden in a drawer, waiting for the time,
Which is eternally now, when shoes are removed….
All are invited to come share the bread and wine.
The crowd of the world is made welcome and
Everyone is loved as a child.