Because You Were Kind
it was the utter simplicity
of your self – gift
that clothed it so
and made it a door
for the Holy One
to walk through.
Had you noticed
God’s sacred footfalls
under your tender words;
do you await
the gracious return
of the Giver
to replace, a hundredfold,
the loving gift you gave to me?
where my vulnerability
is so finely echoed
I will allow it
(Written after my mother’s death)
winter framed sunlight
in the cold windows.
I watched you spread small greens
across a wooden table,
fingering their thready roots
like harp strings.
A song fell from that,
like quiet, nurturing rain.
Unable to sing,
I let the song seep quietly into me,
bathing my uprooted soul
in the warm silence between us.
There, in that comfort,
the small cutting at my core
Finally, I spoke
and laid the whole parched root
upon the table of your mercy. And
you, ever-tender gardener, lifted it
and blew the dust away, and
spitting gently in your hand,
massaged the feeble life it hid
before you stood it carefully in soil.
You said, “Life is like this sometimes.
Be gentle with it. It will bloom again.”
When I saw you gathered like a sigh
in your cornflower velvet chair,
quilted against a passing winter flu,
I hurt to see you,
weak like half-drawn tea,
we did not yet sail
the catastrophic sea.
What I did know as I had not before
is that, dear friend, you do grow old,
and the day on which I will not find you,
warm and easy near the window’s cold
fell into my heart like sudden, heavy rain
that drowned my voice so unexpectedly,
I dove beneath the wave
to find myself again.
When you are gone from me,
I’ll gather somewhere in a sigh,
near fragile things of earth,
near leaves that turn to lace before they fall,
or snow, whose symmetry is yielding,
even as it lay,
and I will love you
as completely as I did today.
Near fragile things of earth, I’ll love you
as silently and as completely
as I did today.
Music: Joe Bongiorno: Walk with Me