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.

Monday Morning Mary: Blessing for the Thing You Must Do Alone

hope rock

Blessing for the Thing You Must Do Alone

When you must cross a threshold that frightens you
to enter a territory you would much prefer to avoid,
may you tether to your wrist
a flock of helium balloons.
As you go where you must,
they will babble overhead
on their long threads,
following you so eagerly,
as if they were new thoughts—
ones of hope, creativity, courage
and love—
waiting, just waiting
for you to think them.

Who can maintain gravity
while holding the potential
to defy it?

Go, then, trailing the colors
of illumination, armed
with new thoughts
to lift you.

Mother Mary with Child

Monday Morning Mary: Where Did You Go Right

girls crossing stream 2007

 

Where Did You Go Right

You are so thoughtful,
wanting to learn from your mistakes,
looking to do things better next time.
But you’ve done enough of that.
Now it’s time to stop building
that same stepping stone
over and over again.
Step on it with courage.
From your new vantage point,
your vision grows larger.
Look up.
Get going.
 
 
 
Madonna and Child at Met