Just As I Left It

The cat calls for her dinner.
On the porch I bend and pour
brown soy stars into her bowl,
stroke her dark fur.
It’s not quite night.
Pinpricks of light in the eastern sky.
Above my neighbor’s roof, a transparent
moon, a pink rag of cloud.
Inside my house are those who love me.
My daughter dusts biscuit dough.
And there’s a man who will lift my hair
in his hands, brush it
until it throws sparks.
Everything is just as I’ve left it.
Dinner simmers on the stove.
Glass bowls wait to be filled
with gold broth. Sprigs of parsley
on the cutting board.
I want to smell this rich soup, the air
around me going dark, as stars press
their simple shapes into the sky.
I want to stay on the back porch
while the world tilts
toward sleep, until what I love
misses me, and calls me in.
~Dorianne Laux “On the Back Porch” from Awake

If just for a moment,
when the world feels like it is tilting so far
I just might fall off,
there is a need to pause
to look at where I’ve been
and get my feet back under me.

The porch is a good place to start:
a bridge to what exists beyond
without completely leaving the safety of inside.

I am outside looking square at uncertainty
and still hear and smell and taste
the love that dwells just inside these walls.

What do any of us want more
than to be missed if we were to step away
or be taken from this life?

Our voice, our words, our heart, our touch
never to be replaced,
its absence a hole impossible to fill?

When we are called back inside to the Love
that made us who we are,
may we leave behind the outside world
more beautiful because we were part of it.

2 thoughts on “Just As I Left It

  1. As vulnerable humans, always seeking affirmation and meaning in our lives, our absolute and constant need for ‘love’ is nearly impossible to describe.
    But it is a truism, a living, breathing fact that our soul, our body, our total essence, needs love or we shrivel and die.
    (The Greek language uses at least seven words to describe the word, ‘love,’ and its associative meanings.)

    The truest, greatest, all-encompassing model that we have for that word comes to us hundreds of times as we read Scripture, particularly as Jesus uses the word
    and practices His meaning for it with those He met and taught during His brief journey here with us over two millennia ago.

    It seems that, as our civilization, our society, have forgotten (rejected) the full meaning of His Words and our increasingly desperate need for us to
    seek His meaning for us NOW in this frightful, sinful, hate-filled time in our history.

    Liked by 1 person

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