So Close

If this comes creased and creased again and soiled
as if I’d opened it a thousand times
to see if what I’d written here was right,
it’s all because I looked too long for you
to put in your pocket. Midnight says
the little gifts of loneliness come wrapped
by nervous fingers. What I wanted this
to say was that I want to be so close
that when you find it, it is warm from me.
~Ted Kooser “Pocket Poem”

A boy told me
if he roller-skated fast enough
his loneliness couldn’t catch up to him,
the best reason I ever heard
for trying to be a champion.

A victory! To leave your loneliness
panting behind you on some street corner
while you float free into a cloud of sudden azaleas,
pink petals that have never felt loneliness,
no matter how slowly they fell.
~Naomi Shihab Nye from “The Rider”

One who has loved is never quite alone,
though all the hills declare our solitude.
Having known you, I am no more afraid,
the essential singleness of blood and bone
when dispossessed, comes never in return;
one who has loved is never quite alone.
~Jane Tyson Clement from  The Heart’s Necessities

I’ve written about petals in your pocket
but have never left a poem alone in your pocket
to keep it warm.

Instead, to stave off loneliness
I match poems and pictures together
to share before leaving for my day’s work.

Still warm to the touch,
these spill from my fingertips
as dawn pours over the eastern hills.

Here’s to another good morning with you, my love ~
I tuck this poem into your empty pocket from mine,
to keep it close and forever warm
today, tomorrow and always.


4 thoughts on “So Close

  1. Emily, I sent this out to the people I love today, and quoted you, and feel maybe I should have asked for permission. Here is what I said using your quote.

    Emily Gibson wrote this but I thought of you, and of God and of you

    Instead, to stave off loneliness
    I match poems and pictures together
    to share before leaving for my day’s work.

    Still warm to the touch,
    these spill from my fingertips
    as dawn pours over the eastern hills.

    Here’s to another good morning with you, my love ~
    I tuck this poem into your empty pocket from mine,
    to keep it close and forever warm
    today, tomorrow and always.”

    Emily and I have the same desire, we’ve just found different ways to express it. Yet she is faithful to her heart call and I feel only beginning. To match art and poetry together and I don’t know how to become capable of this vision and I die and I live to the pain of it, a little every day. To see something of God and of life that is so piercing sweet it is beyond expression and yet, how does one show a single person? To say, oh, no! You are wrong. He is not like that. He is a Beauty waiting for you to fall in. Only… to say it with beauty itself? The pain of it and the joy of it.

    (If I want to quote you in the future, how should I go about it. This wasn’t a public thing, just a list of loved ones.)

    You are ever a depth!

    -Kelley

    Liked by 1 person

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