There have been times
I thought I could not get closer
To grief without dying.
And Lou said, “Go into the grief;
Die if you must.
Tell us what you feel
Even in the places
There are no words.”
I went closer,
And I did not die.
I was held
by stronger hands than mine,
sitting in a circle
at whose center was God.
Now I walk with head held higher;
Linger to admire, admire, admire
The things of the world,
Both seen and unseen.
My ears hear between the lines,
Sense a presence
Within a spacious silence.
Sometimes there is trouble on the wind.
Wild geese scatter broken in the sky.
Love is not always returned.
Still I bow and whisper
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you
For the consoling presence of the circle,
For the accidental and intended mercy,
The presence standing here, even now.