(Or Five Months Ago Today)
Poems From The Porch
An introspective waterfowl is swimming solo,
diving, then flying low.
Her reflection is showing two,
like me and you always together;
your presence seen and felt when the light illuminates my view.
Now I am burning the wood you chopped for us
and gazing at the reservoir
from the camping spot we always wanted to secure,
but never could
while you were more than a reflection.
Solid and reliable,
I smile at the thought of you appreciating with me
the slow moving water and mirror trees.
Looking over, I notice my shadow
and realize that a sliver of light has opened my heart
and allowed me to see you amidst the darkness of my craving and longing.
Anger, sadness, angst, fear,
and the claws of shame,
I have felt in abundance.
But the pain of grief,
never have I experienced so intensely.
My mother and father are gone.
I love them, and they loved me well.
Her “darling daughter” were my mom’s words;
his “lovely daughter,” my dad‘s phrase.
But you —
responsible, practical, protective —
you loved me by choice,
and you did it so faithfully.
The evidence of you is everywhere —
in the firewood
and the coffee,
in the way I carefully fold the tarps now
and mindfully thread the water hose into its connection.
You’re in the checking of the tires and propane
and turning the corners wide.
I won’t ever be rid of you
and I emphatically don’t want to be.
I just wish it didn’t hurt so much.
Then I remember . . .
this unique, particular pain,
is the price
of having the love I always wanted.
May 17, 2022
Engaging With The Poem
Poetry can be a doorway to the soul and your own creativity. Throughout the ages, the written word has been used as a means to access personal truth and as a vehicle for prayer through the practice of sacred reading (lectio divina). I encourage you to try this beautiful practice and let its truths to be self-evident.
How To Practice Sacred Reading
READ the passage through slowly more than once, noticing how it feels in your body and the response of your heart.
REFLECT: What word resonates with you? What phrase speaks to you? What overall personal meaning comes to you? Allow yourself to follow a tangent.
RESPOND by making space for the prayer of your heart to manifest. Write down the words and/or phrases that resonate with you, and allow them to arrange themselves into your own poem or prayer.
REST with your eyes closed, perhaps using the word that most resonates with you as your mantra for silent meditation.
May your mind be peaceful and calm,
may your body be relaxed and comfortable,
and may your heart be filled with love.
Blessings and gratitude,