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Poetry

I know a woman who, when she hears wise words
uttered, turns

her palms upward. She’s as likely to place her hands
on my shoulders,

to comfort. None of it for show. Palms upward,
she’s a basin.

Palms downward, a wellspring, rain.

May we be basin and well to each other.
May we be rainlight

and the winds that freshen the morning. May we
sleep as roots and bulbs

in winter, faithful to the quickening throb of inner
undoubtable being.

May we rise up in our love as a fire leaps and kindles.
May we hold our hands

to the fire and warm them. “Stand watch over this burning,”
Rumi says in one poem.

And in another, the fire itself, the fire that is fountainhead,
speaks:
“Come into me, and don’t mind the sparks.”


The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

  • Kim Langley

    Does anyone know how I can seek permission to use this poem? I am working on a book on grief and there is a section on the anticipatory grief of caregivers…and this poem is terrific.

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