Friday, January 24, 2014

Utter relief

What a peerless--what a blessed 
What an unwinding!
More than mere relief, 
which is exquisite, 
utter relief stops your heart. 
It’s what you feel when the police say, 
We found your little boy. 
When the doctor says, 
Your blood count's back to normal
Utter relief is when the body 
explodes with exuberance, 
when the cold, wet peck you felt 
on your cheek was not the lips 
of  monster death 
but a small cold drop of winter rain. 

My friend and I ramble along a beach. 
She stoops to touch a crab, 
the life gone out of it, 
turns the shell in the sand,
in a gentle voice asks, 
Isn't God's work amazing? 
Her face shining clear as glass. 
The splendor of the ocean 
and what spills out of it stirs her 
just as it stirs me. 
I wish you knew God loves you.
She says this kindly, knowing my grievances:
Life’s cruelty, its utter futility, 
the extreme mystery the God she
loves insists on.
But why spoil her moment 
with my unease? 
She only wants to share this thing 
that’s changed her life. 
And yet I must complain, not gently. 
Life just stumbles along on its own, 
merely rises up from nature’s patterns, 
and one day will vanish. 
She lifts her face to the clouds. 
Utters not a word. 
But I can tell she’s praying for me.