• Mark Tredinnick


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.






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.