by Debra Woods
Just as fog settles thick on an Autumn night
Cross the path to my door till my eyes cannot see
Or the cotton wool in my ears brings on sleep
Despite nights noises now shut out,
Unseen and silent to my poor mortal mind
Are the vision and music of heaven.
No blanket or curtain or wall of stone
So powerfully separates me
From all that was,
All that will be,
All that is beyond the veil.
At times I do bemoan this mortal state,
So blind and deaf and forgetful am I.
I tire and ache and creak and groan
As years and gravity take their toll from me.
And creases deepen, my hair whitens, my eyesight fades,
And I wonder, was I really ever a skinny little girl?
Just as I think to give up in despair
A whisper - so still - so faint I strain to hear it says,:
“At least you have a body, and I care not how mean,
If you will take it to the temple this day,
My name waits there for you,
How beautiful you will be to me
How I will love you.”
And as I rush rush rush all day at top speeds
And tap my fingers so annoyed . . .
For long red lights
And slow computer downloads
And commercial breaks
And microwave countdowns
And the three cars in front of me in the drive thru lane at the bank,
How many beyond the veil wait yet one more day,
One more week,
One more year,
One more decade
For one like me to heed the call
To search them out and submit their name
And do their work
And free them, and reunite them
With this poor old body of mine while it lasts
But the veil is thick, and it is easy to forget
When loud and demanding is life all around me.
And I cannot hear their cries,
And I cannot see that look of anticipation
Or disappointment on their faces.
I went to the temple and took some cards
With names I’d long been acquainted
And as I knelt at the alter,
How I hoped somehow the veil would be lifted just this once . . .
But only a flood of memories
Of all I’d discovered about their lives came to mind,
And a tear filled my eye and a sob caught in my throat.
Were you there?
I’m sorry I made you wait so long.