This is a joyful poem

This is a joyful poem.

I was going to write about poppies.
About the way they shoot skyward
then burst into color so rich
that you feel it as well as see it.

It was to be a simple poem
about being in the moment.
The poppies a lovely example
of something glorious and fleeting,
as their paper thin petals
last but a few days.

But as I mused on this
I realized there is no end to the examples
of things we either attend to or miss altogether.

Yes, it’s the poppies
and the colors they give for an instant.
It’s the foster kittens my sister cared for
scared, sweet, coming quickly to trust.
On and on it goes,
the health we have in the moment
the ones we love or are soon to meet.

Likewise are the storms that strip the poppies
and the hidden illness that harms the kittens.

All of this is true.
All of this is what we step toward each day
when we wake.
Still here.
Still part of this swirling, joyful, painful, almost-too-much world.

It doesn’t change the breath-catching beauty of the flower
or the sweet exchange between fur and heart.

Life calls us, in a thousand different ways,
to open ourselves to what is before us … anyway.
To love, to risk, to laugh, to cry, to belong … anyway.

Knowing we sign up for loss along the journey.
But that loss is only there for having accompanied connection.
So I’m wistful for the flowers gone too soon.
I ache for my sister’s tender heart
as she bids farewell to the sweet young kittens.
And I feel to my bones all the ways in which
I rise and don’t rise to the moments in my life.

It takes courage to greet the present.
And focused resolve to stay engaged.
To stay open.
To say yes.
To look at one another and ourselves
and see our shared and inextricable state of Wild vulnerability.

This is a joyful poem.

Chris Heeter Signature



Join the discussion One Comment

  • Jennie Lemire says:

    I love receiving your poems in my mail box! What a wonderful and reflective way to start the day