of days and solitude, your body's immoderate good health
that lets you work in many kinds of weather. Praise
talk with just about anyone. And quiet intervals, books
that are your food and your hunger; nightfall and walks
before sleep. Praising these for practice, perhaps
you will come at last to praise grief and the wrongs
you never intended. At the end there may be no answers
and only a few very simple questions: did I love,
finish my task in the world? Learn at least one
of the many names of God? At the intersections,
the boundaries where one life began and another
ended, the jumping-off places between fear and
possibility, at the ragged edges of pain,
did I catch the smallest glimpse of the holy?
"Praise What Comes" by Jeanne Lohmann, from The Light of Invisible Bodies: Poems (Daniel & Daniel Publishing, 2003). Text as presented on Dancing Down the Moon (4/11/2007).
Art credit: Untitled photograph by Nancy Borowick of her father, Howie, who had been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.