Posts Tagged ‘transience’

While I Could

We arrive empty handed, and leave empty handed. So then, how do we want to spend the time in between?
            —Nimo, Empty Hands Music

For a time, I held
him. Before he
could walk, before
he could stand,
before he could
speak, I held
his full weight
in my hands.
Day became night
became day became
night became day
and I held him
and rocked him
and soothed him
and bathed him
and cradled
his beautiful face.
It didn’t last.
It never lasts.
But before he could run,
before he could
fall, before
he could choose
what I never
would have chosen for him,
I held him.
Oh, this gift,
to know the heft
of his life, to have been
the one—though
never again—
to have been the one
for a time, sweet time,
to hold him.

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The leaves debate the wind.

We all know who will win.

There is no sound in the fall.


Whatever we might do here

amounts to little more than their rustling,

perhaps not even that.


Scratch of the branch

at the window. And then

it is silent.



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too many to count
petals on the orchard floor
he loves me?


rusted lock
in the heart’s back pocket
a spare key


snow on the ridges
come spring what else
will be missing?


almost asleep
these hands still kneading
soft dough


he talks
and talks and talks and talks
about listening


no temple bells
still the crow goes on
about awe, awe

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The willow branch
hung in rime
just as the sun
begins to shine
is a hopeless place
to be a bloom of ice,
but for that moment
such grace, such light.

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