Irish Ancestor

Hudson sunset

Irish Ancestor

Even though your name is lost to me,
you appear in my mind from nowhere
like the sum of two easy numbers.

Even though I know nothing
of your village, your prayers, the stories
of your hearth and your departure,

behind my eyes,
your struggles gather
beside the pool of dreams.

You appear with your tangerine curls
half pinned up, half fallen
onto the shoulder of worn cloth.

You tell me
that the hammock of grief I sometimes feel myself fall into
runs deeper than the wounds of this lifetime.

You say I have carried your pain, like a stone,
without knowing—we all have,
one after the other,

from one side of the River Shannon
across streams and lochs and the great
Atlantic, into the hungry mouth of the Hudson.

You want me to drop it now,
this sorrow,
because enough is enough.

The gift you meant to give
was courage,
and however pale it seems to me

you have woven it securely in my aura,
a blessing to accompany me across the wild waters,
a light from you to those who follow.

Crossing Threads

Crossing Threads 2

Crossing Threads

If I were wise
I would see that yesterday’s troubles
are vapor.
I survived
even the really bad spell
where I was not certain
my body would last until sunrise.

If I were wise
I would walk out into the sunlight today
not as if I were secured to this life
by a mere spider’s thread
so afraid to test its strength, but
free, just free.

If I were wise
I would sense how
this world and the numinous world
are always weaving through each other,
visible and invisible filaments of energy and love,
how occasionally they tangle
and join briefly in a knot,
how at that knot we come close
so close to crossing,
but then an angel
or an ancestor
yanks us free.

If I were wise
I would see that
my angel yanked me free last night
so I could sit under this tree today,
and think about what she meant when she said,
We will cross that thread
when we come to it.