Saturday, December 24, 2016

Dawn Walk

At times it's comforting to realize that, yes, we are still here. Death may loom but we can take moments to remember, to be in the present, and to enjoy the reality knowing loved ones are nearby. Dawn Walk creates that state in our souls as we crunch through the snow at first light.

by Edward Hirsch
Some nights when you’re asleep
Deep under the covers, far away,
Slowly curling yourself back
Into a childhood no one
Living will ever remember
Now that your parents touch hands
Under the ground
As they always did upstairs
In the master bedroom, only more
Distant now, deaf to the nightmares,
The small cries that no longer
Startle you awake but still
Terrify me so that
I do get up, some nights, restless
And anxious to walk through
The first trembling blue light
Of dawn in a calm snowfall.
It’s soothing to see the houses
Asleep in their own large bodies,
The dreamless fences, the courtyards
Unscarred by human footprints,
The huge clock folding its hands
In the forehead of the skyscraper
Looming downtown. In the park
The benches are layered in
White, the statue out of history
Is an outline of blue snow. Cars,
Too, are rimmed and motionless
Under a thin blanket smoothed down
By the smooth maternal palm
Of the wind. So thanks to the
Blue morning, to the blue spirit
Of winter, to the soothing blue gift
Of powdered snow! And soon
A few scattered lights come on
In the houses, a motor coughs
And starts up in the distance, smoke
Raises its arms over the chimneys.
Soon the trees suck in the darkness
And breathe out the light
While black drapes open in silence.
And as I turn home where
I know you are already awake,
Wandering slowly through the house
Searching for me, I can suddenly
Hear my own footsteps crunching
the simple astonishing news
That we are here,
Yes, we are still here.

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