Grace and Peace to you.
A spirit came, adorned in white,
with flowers of spring, in rising light,
and laid a hand upon my breast,
and said, “’Tis you, among the rest,
I love. And as each moment slips
away your name is on my lips.
Each breath you take, and then release,
I breathe, until such breathing cease.
And though you do not see me here,
I hold your heart. I’m always near.”
So deeply known, and loved, I fell
in love, and yet I could not tell
how such a lovely stranger might
have come to know my day and night,
my soul, the heart and boundaries
of all my life. Then gently these
and all my questions, with a smile
the spirit interrupted, while
embracing me, intent and grave
and ardent, and then gently gave
me such a look of tender calm,
and traced a line across my palm,
and, wreathed in silence, breathing peace,
said, “Truly, I will not release
my claim upon you, precious child,
‘till you are finally reconciled
with my low, patient, humble way—
no, not until your dying day.
I give you nothing, but enfold
your hands in mine so that you hold
me always, and you always know
that I hold you, ‘till you let go.
I will be with you, always near,
‘till you, like I, shall disappear.”
The spirit placed an airy ring
upon my finger, promising,
“To you, my love, I will be true,
and some day I’ll come back for you.
So watch, each moment, and attend.
It won’t be long; the path will end.”
The spirit gave a garland made
of flowers (that would quickly fade),
and touched my forehead with a prayer
and left me, trembling, standing there—
and yet, I vow, did not depart,
but lives here still within my heart.
Now every time I sigh, or sleep,
or sit in silence, close and deep,
I see the shadow of my friend
who is my path, and is my end,
and give and take, with every breath,
the gift that is my life, and death.
And all things change, and all things die;
each moment passes, as do I.
I die to all but this brief day
‘till I myself have gone that way.
Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes