On the last day of 2016, I’m sharing this poem of hope from my book Heartwood. In a time of storm and stress, part of me hopes that we can listen to one another and sing. “You and I can make music.”
THE ALPHA RITE
One day, my life will be a gift to others,
a deed without an actor
any of you will know
as you now know me.
A new subject
an old and new
a tether to my form shining at you
in my son’s face turned slightly to the side
as he asks a question,
the shadow of his brow over his eyes,
or my hot body with yours
under high-thread-count linens
surrounded by white walls and the sound
of lawnmowers, traffic, or our memories,
the hallways populated by shadows,
or the feeling of the sun pouring liquid light on your shoulders,
the flaming disc forming a cornice behind your mane,
a hemlock bough in your palms
and your lips nearly to mine again,
or the doe lying still with her life spilled in the snow,
some kind of allegory there of me driving away and shutting doors,
or the tallus on the ridge, or the ruins in the barren,
or the pondhawks perched on the blueberry bush in the fen,
or my voice thanking you for giving me your hand
or voice again and again with laughter as we milled about,
making the music only you and I can make.
You and I can make music.
It is my greatest hope
to hear it,
Please hear it.
You can hear it. But you cannot hear it unless
I cease speaking,
You will hear it. There is a
This is the end.
This is that beginning.
I, a mortal creation am listening
to you now.