Poem From Prison | Sojourners

Poem From Prison

In the long night when this world of mine
takes everything I have away from me
you keep me steady,
and we have made a friendship out of this...
one held over from another's death
a stone we grieved upon and broke between us.
One hour has made a year for us
and a day, many more
and in our separations one peace one place
is more than we were promised.
You are my alchemist--
you make it gold out of nothing...
I watch one hand support a prison
and the turn of your hair hold down my grief.
Out of the pit we have gone on trial over and over again,
and still you are there my witness,
for this is an art with you...
a tempering of steel
a sculpturing of wood
formed into a cross we sleep upon.
And the child born between the walls
despite men's anger is a silent witness
in the mind of God.
For you are His as I am His
and when it seems impossible,
you give us something new
we can hold up and then hold up again.
We go from darkness
and, because we are made from the stars,
move towards Andromeda
and the spurting, milky blood of Hera,
for the way is upward
and away from the totems of the hour.
And the empty things we leave behind us
trail off like a long disease
which no one remembers.
The Sacraments accompany the Journey outside of time
and you and I
motionless and made for a moment
are alive together
in the falling year.

First in the heart
our vulnerability
and then those haunted nights
which hang there like a palimpsest
in every breath,
and the sharp December winds
that carry us graveward
and still never in the dark alone,
for we anticipate
the light.

The same voices, tremors,
the long afflictions endured
and all of it we share
like wounds that close in healing.
It is then and now
you are standing there
soul of my shadow.

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