“Our very life depends on continuous acts of beginning. But these beginnings are out of our hands; they decide themselves.
Beginning precedes us, creates us. There is nothing to fear in the act of beginning.
More often than not it knows the journey ahead better than we ever could."
John O’Donohue


23 May 2016

Doctrine

What you left me,
ultimately,
is the doctrine of irreplaceability.

It feels like the place
where your hair meets the skin
the skin of your neck,
rising with touch.
It sounds like the holy quiet
of night giving way to dawn.

In a dream, I place you,
an anachronism
in my grandfather's garden.
After decades of failed attempts,
I am suddenly, strangely
able to grow things.
I can watch the sprout of a pepper plant
and know how light and air
will preach it into bearing.
I can feel the delicate spines
on the skin of a ripening tomato
and see love and letting go
open a window
on the crowded earth
for it to arrive.
Our four hands share
the prophecy of dirt,
the late summer drought
yielding to fruit.

You have tethered me
to the setting sun,
its measured crossing
of the dark side of the earth.
And I go willingly,
unwillingly.