By the Quaker Meeting House

Victorian children sleddingI constantly think I need to be working harder (though for the most part these days “working” means looking for work). In a fit of proletarian enthusiasm last night I set the alarm for 6:45 a.m, though it did seem like an early hour. When the alarm went off this morning, setting it for 6:45 seemed like an irresponsible act of self abuse. I lay in bed in semi-comatose rebellion until after 7:00. When I finally crawled from the covers, praising myself for fortitude, I opened the curtains to see that we had new snow.

It wasn’t much snow, actually, maybe a half inch, though it did create a wintry ambiance out there. Later the day grew so warm that most of the snow went back to Heaven, but there was still a chill wind up on the hillside where I live. It was a good day to ensconce myself in the cozy crib, listening to rock and roll from the Simon and Garfunkle era. A good morning to spend several hours trying to learn the art program bizarrely named Gimp (a free download, if you’re looking for one, and fairly sophisticated).

The slightly snowy day reminded me of years past here in the valley between Tussey Ridge and Bald Eagle Ridge, days when the snow showed purpose and there was no getting around it. On one of those days, after Quaker Meeting, some of the children went outside and took themselves for a slide. Later I wrote a poem from that Sunday.


Rolling in the Light

A woman stands with anxious eyes,

glancing around at the people sitting at our Meeting.

“My brother just had heart surgery,” she says,

then pauses.

“Please hold him in the light.”


She sits expecting that we will do this.

And we will.

We will hold him in the light,

whether we think of it as prayer, good wishes, or quantum energy particles.

We will send him thoughts of God, love, knowledge, enlightenment.


After the Meeting I stand at the glass doors and look out at a snowy day

poured over with sunlight like bright honey.

On the small hill stretching down from the Meeting House

energetic children are jumping onto sleds,

and onto one another on sleds,

to slide down the hill.

For a moment they move in shadow,

then suddenly they are bright lit

and sliding into sunshine.

A little boy with no sled

simply stretches out and begins rolling down the hill.


It occurs to me to say to the woman who talked about her brother,

Yes, we will hold him in the light.

We will see his spirit like a child

rolling through sun splattered snow,

laughing and free,

with bright bits of snow stuck in his hair.


It occurs to me to say to the woman who talked about her brother,

We are all being held in the light

and your brother is one of us.


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Filed under Not Real Poetry

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