Then why am I?
Off to Colorado


When grief has
     splashed my fire out,
          when my sanctuary

is dark, smeared
    with boot prints
          and wet ashes

when the holy of holies
     inside my rib cage
          is an aching void

It is you who wipe
     tears from my face
          with tender hands

who remind me
     I deserve better
          than desolation

who light my lamp.
     Bring me your flame.
          I want to shine again.


Last week I attended a funeral at which verses from psalm 18 were read -- including verse 29, which says to God, "You light my lamp[.]" That image resonated with me, and I wrote this poem on the plane home.

This will probably be one of the 36 poems of love and longing which make up Texts to the Holy.

Speaking of which, I'm delighted to be able to share that one of the poems from that manuscript will appear in a future issue of Presence: an International Journal of Spiritual Direction. I'll let y'all know when it's published.