Six Stanzas: for Natasha and Johnny
with my thanks to Galway Kinnell
You stand together, side by side,
and read the book of what will be, while the wind is
blowing the pages over....
Now you come to your own story. The happy
beginning, the ending, happy or not, you don't know,
the numberless words on countless pages that
fill all the days in between...
You feel, at times, the shock that
love is not always easy. For the God of love is also
the God of power who makes his way onward.
Carefully you read every page where,
somewhere, the glorious prize is waiting for you,
even between pages of the slow going,
where only those who, like you, adore
each other in truth can find it.
When the time comes to set out again,
you will walk together, hand in hand, bringing
the laughter of childhood along
as far as you can, until you hear,
in the distance, above time and sorrow,
your children playing, dancing, laughing
at all that seemed so serious once: offering
you the gift of their light, fearless
hearts, for you to accept in gladness.
Elfie Raymond, Montrose Park, July 6, 1996