I had no time to hate, because
The grave would hinder me,
And life was not so ample I
Could finish enmity.
Nor had I time to love; but since
Some industry must be,
The little toil of love, I thought,
Was large enough for me.
(Emily Dickinson XXII from Life)
Are living memories of all you’ve
Seen, heard, smelled, tasted, and felt
You wake up one morning
And find you married
The reality you love.
And before you go
You must have that
Last walk to school
Last taxi ride
Last cup of tea.
Then you close the door behind you,
Taking only lifeless photos
And stale words in worn journals.
A proud tree stood with arms stretched wide
Until they reached the other side
Of a wall that ran both deep and wide.
The tree offered fruit and shade
Of the same quality that it saved
But on its side it proudly stayed.
And this side-both yours and mine-
Toiled but controlled the time,
And the other side could never climb.
Then one day that tree fell down,
And passing people quickly found
Not one but two ruts in the ground.
“Come to me and I will give you rest.”
But the sea trembles beneath my feet
And my midnight fear is blacker
Than churning waters or the sky above.
Lord, is it to you I stumble
Or just a ghost after all?
Inky waves climb to consume me.
Struggle fuels the water to tie its noose
Around my brittle neck.
Driving rain ignites my gasping face,
Joining the freefall of tears.
A lightning stroke reveals the outstretched hand
That I never looked up to notice.
Truth, why do you hide
To let us slosh in the despair
Of what we subscribe to?
Or could it be
We hide from you?
Trees were only trunks, lining my peripheral with motionless human beings beside the square tiled sidewalk. But at the rhythmic slapping of wings against broad leaves, I looked up at the silhouettes of startled birds in the bright sky.
The sky. When was the last time I had seen the expanse of soft blue, white, and gray? Far above the wailing streets of traffic and layered buildings was majesty. And it watched me with quiet pleasure, waiting for me to remember.
To expose myself to rejection
And the stinging unknown.
To make myself vulnerable
To a broken world,
Tasting its pain and distress
Hearing the cry of the oppressed.
To let my soul experience
The piercing emotion that comes
From living a full life,
Allowing my will to battle strife,
Petitioning for souls at heaven’s door,
And understanding love more than before