He was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.
         Two beings in white robes stood by them and said,
         “Why do you stand looking up toward heaven?”

                  —Acts 1.9-11

Because we are sad.
Because with all those who cry to the sky
we are bewildered, and yearning.

We gaze
because something so dear and fine has left us.
We crane our necks—don’t we always?—
toward the face turning at the gate,
the bus rounding the corner.
We hold the rose before we put it in.
We watch the emptiness
where our beloved was
and we can’t take our eyes off it.

We’re not yet ready
to remember what we’ve learned.
But there is guidance in our longing.
This sadness is some of the miracle
that will raise us,
the loss that opens something,
the sorrow of what is taken
where we find what is not taken.

We are looking up
so you can find us,
the angels of absence,
to walk us through this new land
until we can come and go with grace.

                  —May 4, 2016

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