"The mystery is becoming familiar."
"We have to prepare ourselves for our
death with the same care and attention our
parents prepared themselves for our birth."
There is no need
for an extra pair of shoes.
Simple bread and jam suffice.
The book on the shelf
may be given away,
page by page. Listen.
Photographs begin to speak slowly:
this child welcomed, this bouquet
wilted—but oh, what fragrance!
Songs are sung beyond their words,
grandchildren blessed by hands
that see clearer than eyes. Let go.
Let winter cleanse its way southward,
snow overtake the cornstalk stubble,
fallow fields, oaks and ash and maple
now bare, the places the heart has lived
slide into time’s forgetfulness. Wait.
Light the soul’s filament. There will be
oil for the final watch, bread
and wine for the tongue to tell.
Gather, now, the hands
That search the earth.
Sleep, silence, stones, snow, sorrow:
All good gifts hidden in the ground.
In Memory of Rev. Loren Halvorson