Your grief for what you’ve lost lifts a mirror

up to where you are bravely working.

 

Expecting the worst, you look, and instead,

here’s the joyful face you’ve been wanting to see.

 

Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes.

If it were always a fist or always stretched open,

you would be paralysed.

 

Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding,

the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated

as birdwings.

 

—Rumi

 

 

 

Every season is more than itself alone; 

Each moment and slow passage of time

 

Has a twin. Feeling bleak and daunted

All this grey Easter long—doing grief’s

 

Work, as it’s best done, alone—I caught

In the mirror, more than once, a man

 

So much lighter than the man I’d been

Hauling about, like a burlap sack

 

Of granite, like four decades of dropped

Anchors, and he put me in mind, this other

 

Self, of a goshawk making ready for flight.

And for a moment, that’s stretched

 

Into a week, I flew, too (thankful for

The mirror and the doubleness of things).

 

Sometimes one’s flown the cage, already,

That holds one in. One heals by bearing

 

The pain and all the days one’s left behind;

One heals by setting them aside. Inside

 

The stone, there’s light; inside the heft

And harrow of all you’ve lost, a flight

 

That aches for air. The soul wants,

First, to clench and then to spread its

 

Fingers. Love is made of feathers and of

Bone—and healing has the habit of wings.