“Shedding” our Past

“Shedding” our Past December 4, 2020

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.

SHEDDING

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,

now past.

Here, I’ll help.

Fold all your rememberings.

Lay them on the shelf above and

come outside,

come outside.

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

About Cheryl Grey Bostrom
Usually you’ll find Cheryl gardening or snapping pictures on a bench of land we call Goose Ridge, on a farm a friend dubbed Three Setters. It’s rolling land that overlooks Washington’s snow-capped Cascade Range, forests, stream-fed ponds and acres of pasture. Here our Gordon setters, scores of wild animals, and the very best of friends keep us company. Seasons unfurl in a grand show. Creation speaks daily. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications, including The Upper Room Disciplines and the American Scientific Affiliation’s God and Nature Magazine, for which she’s a regular photo essayist. You can read more about the author here.
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