Take my hand. It’s dark
and the moon is waning
in the cooling sky of now.
The crickets a rolling quilt
of hum from your childhood,
the one bird high up you cannot
see: naming itself home home home.
What are you looking for right now?
No one can predict these times
even if we know the usual
hard and hard-won suspects—
grief old and fresh, pain that persists,
the ruminating rut of any good mind.
Answers we think are answers fall
away like the first cottonwood leaves
in September while the constellations
tilt another picture into view.
Here, take a slower breath.
I’m with you. The wind too.
What did you lose? Who
do you love now? The green heat
that felt like it would never let go
is gone. The long-term train
of winter is too far beyond
the bend to hear.
Come to the circle of benches
and branch-strewn ground to find
your seat at the fire. Feel the heat
that’s enough, the laughter that surprises,
the capacity right here that you carry
at all times for infinite refuge.
This is what we do for each other.
Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Ph.D., the 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate is the author of 24 books, including How Time Moves: New & Selected Poems; Miriam’s Well, a novel; Needle in the Bone, a non-fiction book on the Holocaust; The Sky Begins At Your Feet: A Memoir on Cancer, Community, and Coming Home to the Body. Founder of Transformative Language Arts, she leads writing workshops widely, coaches people on writing and right livelihood, and consults on creativity. Her new podcast is Tell Me Your Truest Story. Find out more about her at CarynMirriamGoldberg.com, YourRightLivelihood.com, and Bravevoice.com.