We said things like
forever and always
under star studded darkness.
That was before
winter. It was before
the black bear began to lope
towards hibernation, slipping
into a deep slumber
out of necessity for warmth, knowing
the days would once
again lengthen. I
am watching them shorten
like she did. I
am taking inspiration from the bees,
keeping my mind on my work,
hoping that if I
notice this honey, you’ll
return when she does. You’ll
wake up and come looking
for what we began before
the frost occurred, before
the crimson leaves fell, before
the heavy rains, when our love
was something to be savored. But
the seasons have already
passed and even the shoots that push
through the dark
soil are not the ones from before.
So I ask –
will you let go
and let yourself too be reborn?
In July, I went to work with refugees who were currently staying in a camp on the island of Lesvos, Greece. We spent a week training volunteers around compassion fatigue as well as counseling those in the camp, both teaching coping skills as well as processing seemingly only a little of the trauma they had experienced. After returning, this image has remained in my memory.
“Bebe, those sleepy seeds are still in your eyes.”
He has been
It is all he can do
after waking up in this
place on the dusty
hill, barbed wire fenced in safe
and yet still stuck
in this holding cell, this
room, for a future he knows so little of.
They huddled in, chilled, as they crossed
with nothing but a few clothes stuffed
between legs, their raft slowly rocking
through that birthing canal,
hoping to make it alive across
the icy waves below. Yes,
he wakes here now,
day after day, to leave this
is all he can do;
these tiny seeds of hope
keep him alive.
Can you hear it?
The leaves are whispering of freedom.
You have to wake early.
You have to slip out of your house unnoticed
and go to the woods.
Leave your shoes at the edge,
For this is holy ground.
A few of them are breathing, showing their amber edges,
Their hearts exposed to the raw reality of change.
Walk slowly. They are just beginning to stir,
And, if you allow your feet to take root,
Your toes sinking into the red clay,
Pushing into sweet, dark solitude,
You may find that you, yourself, already know the words
And are humming along.