Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Flight of the Heart

I can count on one hand the number of special people I have loved deep and true, and the thought of losing one of them is most painful for so many reasons, but especially because of little things: a certain laugh, a point of view, the ring of my cell phone, the anticipation of footsteps in the hallway.
I wrote this poem a couple of years ago. I hope its true that the heart can fly, because I'd like to think there is a place that love and blessings thrive and protect, no matter what.

Flight of the Heart
A wide winged bird settled here last spring
in this farming town with college twists,
relaxing in the gardens and goings on
and never for a moment suspecting
that an ageless soul mate
had begun its flight east.
Everything changed in that moment
and it will now be what it was not before--
a homeland different and apart,
mourning the smallest and largest of possibilities,
burying the future under the past—
not the normal order of things—
and all of it unable to settle
in this ancient place of home.
When the distance cannot be accommodated,
the little laughters and easy understanding,
the scholarly wisdom and worldly passion
of exploding change
will be forgotten,
lovingly tucked away
Until one day,
when the one reason that is every reason
is no longer unforeseen,
the joy seems less precise:
when that happens
another shift occurs
and only then they might know
a second settling
of the flight of the heart.
It begins quietly,
one November day
when the ground is golden
and the trees stretch their bare limbs
up and out, holding tight.
That is when the question is clear:
How wide can a heart stretch?
Can it expand so much
that the little hearts inside drop their protective toothpicks,
with a sigh and surrender
and step bravely past the boundaries of time and space?
The wide winged bird watches it all,
no longer alone
but in a still point
accepting this flight of destiny
now rooted in improbable trust
and carefully hidden in the wet leaves.
When the shift was certain,
when the change was solid,
when confusion became commitment,
the aching perseverating question
of how this could be
sheepishly lingered
so everything can hold firm,
until the flight of the heart
can gently rest.
It is another day now.
The seasons extend and endure,
a transformation so shocking and complete,
it is outmatched only by a distance
so circular it cannot be traced,
not yet, maybe never.
From the sweetest lamenting gifts,
through all these continents,
the flight of the heart continues,
where it will rest in a treetop
safe from strangers below
and reachable only through the rare and special moments
of timeless love.
Ten days and ten months and ten years later
the leaves again fall
and the tree limbs still stretch.
The wind carries the flight of the heart
to sacred ground
where the wide winged bird
and its hallowed soul mate
forever rest.
The resting times and places are infrequent--
choices still built on virtue and grace--
but it does not matter.
Theirs is the solitary life, a union
so bound to godliness
that their lifetimes together are endless
In a holy place where only love rules.

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