The Veil Between Us

The Veil Between Us

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.

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