Wednesday, April 26, 2017

My Mother's Gift

Photo: Brian Federle

“It is our emptiness in the presence of the abyss of His reality, our silence in the presence of His infinitely rich silence, our joy in the bosom of the serene darkness in which His light holds us absorbed, it is all this that praises Him.”   Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation.

(for Brian)
You visited me near dawn. 

I saw you
and felt your joy
and heard your voice,
like a memory of waking to bird-song
on a warm, Ohio summer's morning -

you used to sing "rise and shine!"
bringing me bleary-eyed, bounding
into my childhood's
glowing day.

And last night
I saw you again.

I love my dreams about you.
You sweep away
all fear
with your calm voice.

But always after,
when I wake up,
you are gone,
and I face another indifferent day
in this agnostic world.

But this time was different!
"You are glowing!" I said
from the deep mist of my sleep,

"It is because 
He Is."

And though I could not see
what you ceaselessly see,
I gazed upon the 
overwhelming light
enfolding you,
and I tried
to find its source
but could only feel
its sudden glory...
its unremitting,
warm embrace
of unconditional

I did not want to wake...
I wanted to stay with you,
in the warmth
of this revelation,

but of course,
I returned to the morning
to the pale sun,
to the granite and steel world,
to the darkness of the mirror,
to life,

and yet,
your  gift remains
in the glow of faith
my failing sight.

(10 Jan 2011; 6 Dec. 2016: 26 April 2017)

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