We gather the children,
the tender and shy, the mischievous,
lead them to a jagged beach to find
their treasures of stillness
while their own parents settle into
the meetinghouse to gather
Light. We let the children wander
between piers, time dissolving
into moistness. One boy with purple
hair releases reticence to be mesmerized
by washed up logs, crabs squirting
at low tide, a turquoise glass float
with Japanese script. A girl in her brilliance
gathers fistfuls of pebbles and hesitance,
flings them skyward. The rocks pause
mid-air, then plunk to the sea
like notes on a xylophone.
She leans toward the water,
ears cocked, eyes gleaming.
Blossoms open this first Sunday
after the full moon and vernal equinox.
These periwinkle foot soldiers
of spring fill our garden, a blessing
of color after long-barren soil,
a harbinger of more bounty
to come. This year as always,
they surprise, like each holy day.
Renewal doesn’t happen just anytime,
but when tender shoots uproot
flower beds of despair and failure,
cover undergrowth of plans
that no longer fit, replace withered
brown stalks with spaciousness
and grace audible in the soil
we patiently till.
We’ve seen pictures of the moon turning
the color of a martian desert.
We know it will be as full as a mother
about to give birth, and exactly what time
the faintest sliver will levitate
just above the horizon.
We don’t know we will forget
that which is not quite surprise
or mystery, but like nothing
we’ve ever seen. That on this dark night
we’ll heat leftover meatloaf, pour wine
from a box, settle in with reruns
of China Beach. Until we hear neighbors
murmur, gather on street corners
pointing their children east. We are meant
to be fulfilled on this earth, marvel
at our luminosity. On this good night,
moondrops stir thistles, replace our own umbra.
checks boarding passes, matches stoic photos
with faces, gives the IDs back.
Her soft, manicured hand lightly brushes
our roughness, waves us on. Here we are america,
a gliding current wending around velvet
ropes toward the far shore of the next checkpoint.
We are fluid, move as one organism. Two retired
women in dashikis say the line moves
more quickly this bright October day than in the slant light
of winter. A young woman with rice paper skin
pushes twins in a stroller, propels a diaper bag
with sandled foot. Spanish flutters rhythmic wings,
lands on shoulders of men with cowboy boots
and women with gold hoop earrings. I stare,
because we are exquisite. A party erupts,
right here on the concourse. We shake and shimmy
to “I Feel Good” and “Oye Como Va,” fill our bellies
with doro wat, tabouleh, my mother-in-law’s sticky
rice, a splash of sake´. We go all night,
miss our flights and don’t care, sweat and song
our destination as we rise
from rusting factories, stifling suburbs, crumbling
projects, crumpled cornfields, dense barrios.
Suddenly, the music and our security end.
We take off our shoes, put belts, laptops in gray
plastic tubs, pass through the body scan,
re-claim our personals.