Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Joseph Lisowski writes



We limp along at best.
Wounds will heal
if our hearts hold hope.
Scars don't matter
unless we keep examining them,
stop bending toward the light.

One halting step is as good
as a spry one. We move
in spite of echoes, phantoms
along the way.


Day's light accents night's terror--
what darkness I have felt
and wake to! Nothing,
no amount of will, wish, prayer
dispels it. It is heavier
than tropic air that trails
the wrecks of hurricanes.

In the end, little matters.
Pain or suffering does not endure.
Depression inevitably gives way
to high pressure, breezy skies.

I need to be careful
how I tend my wounds.
Sometimes attentive ministry
does not help them heal.


My wife wanders through the house
opening doors, cupboards, closets,
calling her daughter's name.
It is a strident canticle.

Later, she tells me
that what our psychiatrist said
was wrong
that what our psychotherapist said
was wrong
that grief is the sole significance.
When that's gone,
nothing matters.


My friend calls
and pulls some of the sorrow
1,500 miles through undersea
telephone lines.
He will take it later
to that place in his cellar
where many dreams have died.
They hang on canvases
he's abandoned, in the poems
mislaid, photographs discarded,
and music that no longer plays.

My friend called today
breathing a cold northern wind
that pushed aside this desert sun.


In a recent photo, my daughter smiles
among hibiscus, bright red in promise.
In the lens, she is close,
mere days before her leaving.

The focus is sharp,
the sun plays off her face.
Her eyes are filled with delight.


We are connected
by the thinnest lines
often unseen and unfelt,
but they are of tungsten steel
so many and strong.
Our stupidity insists we ignore it all.

What demon is in us
that demands only lies,
that demands we are alone?

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