Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need
For this bright morning dawning for you.
History, despite its wrenching pain
Cannot be unlived, but if faced
With courage, need not be lived again.
Lift up your eyes upon
This day breaking for you.
Give birth again
To the dream.
–Maya Angelou, excerpt from ‘On the Pulse of Morning’ (emphasis my own)
Why has it been so long
since I stood here slicing onions
Breathing peppers, exhaling cumin
Pausing only to wipe sweat and sing along to beebop on WEMU jazz?
approximately how many popsicles my sick girl ate yesterday.
approximately how many times we watched Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest.
approximately how many games of hide and seek we played.
approximately how many times my heart soared in the midst of it all.
End of the Beginning by James Northrup
Someone said we begin to die
the minute we’re born.
Death is a part of life.
Who knows why the Creator
thins the herd.
Another old saying says
we must all be prepared
to give up those we love
or die first.
Take time to mourn.
Take time to remember.
Everything happens in cycles.
The pain you feel was once
balanced by someone’s joy
when that baby was born.
The loss you feel today
will be replaced by good
Is there a message here? Yea,
treat others like this
is your last day above ground.
—James Northrup 1943-2016
(With apologies to poetry lovers everywhere.)
Sitting in the dark
Eating Popsicles, praying
I won’t need the pail.
Author’s note: I needed the pail.