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Waiting in the Chapel Prison at SVSP

Robin Keeler
On Loss (May 2023)
Inward Light


For an hour and a half,
I will bound up my heart with waiting
For inmates to arrive at Delta Yard,
Soledad Prison.
I wait for them in the silence,
Dreaming into ghosts they lay down carefully here
Without a further thought.
Maybe this would be a better world
If we all deposited our ghosts
Carefully or unconsciously
Like leaving a fragrance of rose or
Wild chrysanthemums.
In my Father’s House are many prisons.
How do we encounter one?
Do we leave all our bent and folded selves
Deliberately outside the door,
Or just enter this concrete world with a
Ho hum, ho hum?
Whatever we think about too much
Will not leave us alone.
Can we leave thinking behind and
Enter like a beheaded ego?
I have been entering and leaving my prisons
For a long time,
Endless yards of time
I still can’t get it right,
This in and out motion of my left hand,
Now a fist, then a gentle blue bird
Singing among the stacked chairs,
Missing their blue clad inmates
Give me a lesson on waiting
You who know.
Isn’t there a way to be quiet and wait?

          – 7/12/2021

Robin Keeler is a member of Live Oak Friends Meeting in Salinas, California (PacYM).


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