Bits of me have loosened, come away
like birch strips, so thin they curl, flutter,
litter earth where unseen creatures trod.
It’s the peculiar renewal of nature,
losing this and that, cells sloughing
with nary a shudder, everything
an invention, old making way for newer.
I dreamed once of an entire heroic life,
believing it likely but the person
I am is not made now of that heart
which floated in heaven’s boat,
soul vibrant as fluty chimes.
I have become other than imagined.
Deepened perhaps but a layer less substantial,
working toward brave transparency.
Opacity and clarity, how they surprise me with wisdom.
Yet I seem more diminished as each one I’ve known
passes through the eye of storms
and into an evermore, far halcyon place.
I am not yet invisible but missing parts-
her laugh that sustained, his silence that
taught, smiles that unlocked extra life,
that brilliant blue eye of family which held the world.
One offered poetry as necessary bridge.
One came ashore to find me,
then we dove right in from high places.
Now only I stand here, putting on my courage
while bits of me have loosened
like fleeting, downy petals,
revealing a tender center
where– despite fiery tears,
the blush of regret and delight,
all sorts of love which defy naming–
you and you still roam inside this sphere
I yet inhabit as I call out, seek more grace