Echo of the clocktower, footstep
in the alleyway, sweep
of the wind sifting the leaves.
Jeweller of the spiderweb, connoisseur
of autumn’s opulence, blade of lightning
harvesting the sky.
Keeper of the small gate, choreographer
of entrances and exits, midnight
whisper traveling the wires.
Seducer, healer, deity or thief,
I will see you soon enough—
in the shadow of the rainfall,
in the brief violet darkening a sunset—
but until then I pray watch over him
as a mountain guards its covert ore
and the harsh falcon its flightless young.
~Dana Gioia “Prayer”
(written in memory of his infant son who died of SIDS)
When we think of those who wait for us on the other side,
including our baby lost before birth 35 years ago…
Who then will we long for when it comes our time to wait?
I know there is One who watches over all these reunions,
knowing the moment when my fractured heart
heals whole once again.
I will see you soon enough.
And that is just the point…
how the world, moist and beautiful,
calls to each of us to make a new and serious response.
That’s the big question,
the one the world throws at you every morning.
“Here you are, alive.
Would you like to make a comment?”
It is impossible to stay a silent observer of the world when you awake still alive.
It demands a response.
I would like to make a comment.
It isn’t only nature pulling what was once lush and young into the ground:
daily we witness flying leaves and dropping temperatures, brisk winds and chill rains.
Human kind also is skilled at killing and dying too young.
There can be no complacency in observing such violence in progress.
It blusters, rips, drenches, encompasses, buries.
Nothing remains as it was.
And here I am, alive.
Struck and wrung.
Called to comment.
Dying to respond.
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