by Anne Voegtlen
Here, within me, around me is
a new life I did not seek.
Within me, around me, the old certainties
have collapsed in the space of one
vanishingly brief wingbeat.
I am cast out from the relative
paradise I knew, the lush garden
of my own extended yesterdays.
But there is might in this moment,
if I’ll find it. There is fresh life
gathering form around
the seed of struggle and loss.
Each day we are defeated
and yet we rise. We are pounded
by rain, lashed by wind, and sometimes
surrender our history, let go
what is strong and deep and lively in us.
At the core, my soul is being
freshly born. It is becoming
a dug well from which I soon
can drink. I must do the digging,
deliver the message to
head, hands, and even
the wild heart, that huge muscle
holding me up to life, pushing back
the dark, the worry, the knell
of my worst & weakest moments.
No matter the shape and scale
of our pain, there is always a sliver of time
when good news might
arrive, when a messenger breath
might brace us. There is always a last
breath offered, even at the edge
From before me, souls have born
trial and triumph.
Because the soul is wide,
because the community of all our souls
there is time always
for the cycle of death and rebirth
for the rounding of loss
into softness and return.
There is time always for hope to ring in us,
to sing praise, to knit our small selves into
the long song of human life, the long song
of earth and stars. We are made
to love all life and if we can
remember this, we will remember
the path back to who we are.
19 December 2020