Thursday, October 31, 2013

Saying Goodbye















Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

I stood there in the thick, milky dusk,
my boots bedded in rotting straw and the withered
bodies of plants that I had dug into this place.

We tended each other for a season.

I knew them by touch and smell,
and how slight variations in color or a pucker
of leaf were words wanting understanding.

I came here to learn to listen.

The tomato hornworm caterpillars visited,
and the cabbage butterflies,
and we shared,
time and other things.

Wings. I’ve always wanted a pair, or two.

When I was on my knees,
I wondered who had stripped this land raw,
and why so much of this practice 
was new to me at this age,
and what the earthworms thought 
about while navigating
the valleys and ridges of my rough palms.

Could they tell how much I adored them?

Oh, yes, these were the musings of summer,
thoughts freed while the mind
had the luxury of abundance.

This though was Autumn. It was Autumn waning:

As I looked into the night to come,
I saw a cricket lying down,
frost crystals colonizing his legs.

Goodbyes needed to be said.

A garden can teach us to be earnest with this word,

Goodbye.

At the interface of starvation
and nourishment is where to harvest
the roots of deep gratitude.

And so, I began to offer this word to the yet-living,
letting the growing sense of emptiness
be my understanding.

“Goodbye.”

“Goodbye.”

And again,

“Goodbye.”

Inside,

the woodstove was awaiting me.


©2013-2017/Jamie K. Reaser
Published in "Coming Home: Learning to Actively Love this World"

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2 comments:

  1. Jamie - this is a lovely, thoughtful poem, one which nourishes my sense of wonder and gratitude. So glad I came across your place here in the blogosphere! Hope we can be in touch...

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    1. Jeffrey - Thank you and welcome! Wonderful to have you here. Jamie

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