I LOVE WHAT COMES, I LOVE WHAT GOES
The newborn who changed my skin
and the freedoms our covenant ended.
The white-dress waltz of erev Shabbat
and havdalah's bittersweet spice.
The baby whose head filled my palm: replaced
by this toddler who collapses, wailing
then brightens, sweet as peaches
and sly as a nimble raccoon.
The moving van, the recessional,
handfuls of dirt thudding down.
The aisle we walk as the music plays.
This moment which is already over.
Aside from the three poems I wrote for my sermon in poetry on parashat B'ha-alot'kha, I've only had one poem in the hopper in the last six weeks. This is that poem, which finally came together in a form that makes me happy. A lot of transitions have been on the cusp of coming to pass; I'm hoping that as we settle in to some of these coming changes, I'll have more space in my life for creativity again.
The title of this poem comes out of an experience I had on the last day of DLTI, when the participants in that training program entered into a ritual of greeting and farewell. I'm often challenged by trying to love both what comes, and what goes. If I love something which has come, I tend to want to hold on to it; if I love something which goes away, I tend to mourn its passing. This is one of the challenges of spiritual life, I think.
Anyway. I mentioned that this has been a season of transitions. That's what sparked this poem.