Part (for Jean)

In spite of the sure­ness of this ground and what I can see and the breath in my mouth and the love of my child,
In spite of the sor­row that blan­kets the sick, the poor, the lonely; my god, the lonely:all of us,

In spite of the fan­tasy of know­ing and of faith and cyn­i­cism and secrecy,
In spite of my inten­tion for good and my real­iza­tion of that good,
In spite of the sun ris­ing today, like a golden apple today, so per­fectly warm and reliable,

the ground inevitably shifts and my eyes dim, and my breath rat­tles along like the clat­ter of a for­lorn train in the night and even my son, I will betray in some crit­i­cal way.
The ground I thought I knew will fall away and away I will fall, taken over this last edge, the falls. This wasn’t here a minute ago. I know it. I don’t know, I know that.


My son’s birth brought to me the real­ity of life’s insis­tence. That baby is com­ing out, I thought as I looked at Rose’s swollen self. No mat­ter what. Relent­less­ness is one of the cor­ners of life’s per­son­al­ity. Life, once set in motion, comes and comes.

The slip­ping over the falls into dying is like the leaf lay­ing still as a baby in the stream and then
swal­lowed by grav­ity. When I see it hap­pen I always insert the yelp for the leaf, but it stays silent, serene, I guess, and then gone. Like that, Jean, like that, like you: peace­ful, untan­gling the last attach­ments, and head­ing for adventure.

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2 Responses to Part (for Jean)

  1. Barbara says:

    This brought tears to my eyes for so many reasons.….

  2. Stephen Parkhurst says:

    Very mov­ing.

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