Funny how we love
in the way we want to be loved,
how we think of others in the way
we want to be thought of, how feeling
abandoned I vow never to abandon,
how being termed a disappointment
I slave not to disapprove, how finally
disappointment and disapproval
grow indiscernible as burns from
ice or heat, how now I’m up in the
night certain if I disappoint you
I am not worthy of your love, how
loving’s become an obsession with
correcting the past, as if I’m strapped
to this rear-view mirror always looking
behind to move ahead, with this cramp
in my heart which I must hold till
And when it softens, there will be
no waiting for you to speak first.
No more moping in that self-
mortared purgatory between
the feeling and the actual
living of it.
No, this time, I will take your hand
without hesitation as if you or I
are about to die, and if we live,
where our hands join, a flower
whose nectar will attract
This time, I will honor everything
including how rabbits chew
without looking at their food,
and how your aunt, now bed-ridden,
twists her hair as her mother did,
and how branches broken
stir the mud till flowers
split the gate.
I will enter the silence
in which my heart wakes, crisp
as the blue above God’s wing.
This time, joy.
This excerpt is from my book, The Way Under The Way: The Place of True Meeting, 2016 Nautilus Award Winner.
*photo credit: Snapwire