Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Companionable Dark

The Companionable Dark
by Kathleen Norris, from Little Girls in Church, 1995

of here and now,
seed lying dormant
in the earth. The dark
to which all lost things come -- scarves
and rings and precious photographs, and
of course, our beloved
dead. The brooding dark,
our most vulnerable hours, limbs loose
in sleep, mouths agape.
The faithful dark,
where each door leads,
each one of us, alone.
The dark of God come close
as breath, our one companion
all the way through, the dark
of a needle's eye.

Not the easy dark
of dusk and candles,
but dark from which comforts flee.
The deep down dark
of one by one,
dark of wind
and dust, dark in which stars burn.
The floodwater dark
of hope, Jesus in agony
in the garden, Esther pacing
her bitter palace. A dark
by which we see, dark like truth,
like flesh on bone:
Help me, who am alone,
and have no help but thee.

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