2020 has brought a not so comforting cocoon of isolation never before experienced by most Americans. With the holiday season upon us we find ourselves navigating how to enjoy family members and stay safe. This poem speaks to the joy of inviting someone “outside,” but it also speaks light and life to our past, hidden and dark relational spaces. Grab a handful of sugar cookie dough and savor these words by one of our poets, Cheryl Grey Bostrom.
Ah, you’re here.
Hang your age on the hook by the door,
those pilled, worn decades too heavy for
warm weather like this.
Pull the stitches on your hem,
empty out the leaden years sewn inside,
documents of your flight,
Here, I’ll help.
Fold all your rememberings.
Lay them on the shelf above and
Bring no age, no garments at all.
We’ll lie on warm moss and
rub our backs on the bark of trees
until sorrows loosen and
dried treacheries rub away in flakes.
We’ll butter ourselves with Yes
until our scrubbed new skin shows
life’s holy pigment.
We’ll hunt berries until
God’s breath mingles with our saliva and
we chew and swallow
ripe gulps of hope.
Photocredit: M. Philbrick