Like a woman, spring offers glimpses
of secrets with calculated abandon,
loveliness just a hint until ready,
then as you move in to discover
the mysteries there is more waiting,
a few required shifts, a pause unexpected,
one last flourish before its unveiling.
Treat even these moments as small gifts,
for such restraint of exemplary beauty
brings sweet virtues to finest completion.
Days become open, elongate
as tenderness seeks each flourish of light,
finds roadside bud and petal,
graces bough and wing inside chill wind.
My body like theirs tilts toward sun,
struck by expectation, how it thrills.
Adornments of earth trumpet
caregiving Mind of God made visible,
how it scours and sloughs off wintry rags,
conjures rustle and sigh of life spun, released.
This hidden skin of mine, fluff of milkweed
covering elegant spine and capable wrists,
bright collarbones, coiled arches of feet–
my soul flies on the trapeze of body
in higher places, an homage to each spring reveal.
The heart takes it all in, the tender and piquant,
pings of sadness that stop us in the street,
messages of death carved on the walls,
yesterday’s certainties strewn at your knees,
empires treacherous, unknown or golden
and sound of dew gathering, incense of ancient wood.
The heart gathers secrets: pearls of light to part gloaming,
the wildness of fighting and loving, sleepwalking fears,
shadows of scavengers perched upon pinnacles,
shouts of joy flying on a warm west wind,
your victories and beatings entwined as twins,
betrayals like rust in your mouth. Hope abloom in your belly.
The heart knows and bears and intuits all things.
It is a marthoner, meant to service you without fail,
a constancy overlooked as the air you breathe,
it’s precision a mysterious matrix, sinew and blood.
It doesn’t beg attention nor keep track of favors
nor run you ragged–until it’s become too late.
Within its inner chambers reigns a holiness.
Feel the prayerful music and dance? It lives for you.
Shelter and adore it, rescue and honor it
as it starts and finishes every single moment with you.
February is American Heart Month–this is why I am wearing red today and holding up a stone heart I found–and feeling gratitude. Diagnosed with heart disease at 51 a couple of days after suffering a suspected heart attack while hiking, it changed my life. But this year is my 17th still alive, thanks to medical interventions I’ve received and ongoing management of symptoms. I work at staying well, as 1 out of 3 women (and 1 of every 4 men) in this country die of heart disease. Learn the symptoms and signs of heat attack and stroke as they are not always obvious! Care for yourself enough to preserve this wonderful powerhouse that keeps us going. Check it out: http://www.americanheartassociation.com
The river greets me at this gateway hour
as it slinks through twilight like a secret
receding into netherworlds, its depths
shielded by arrival of night’s perplexities.
Within its quietude, creatures are mudbound,
await to be swept up by flicks of wind,
to spiral into its sleek rocky blueness.
Wintering currents roll through dirt, by trees
that receive with whispers. Sky reconciles
past with present, lays its tenderness
onto the low-slung back of river now
moving toward me on the watch point.
I glimpse my reflection; it is reconfigured
as it is taken elsewhere on the icy edge, into
gradations of light and darkness, light redux.
Riding these waters, I become a simpler woman,
unfettered, unafraid. Welcomed into a wilder fold.