The only thing as big

Aviva at Blue Star, 2014 | Photo: Doug Anderson

There’s a little bell in my back pocket
and a bundle of sage in my bag.
There’s a world of women and men
grieving and giving and lilting and lifting
each other up by the hands.
There’s a rope and a swing
and a riverbend flowing with the sparse
spring rain, and some solace
in knowing that the only thing
as big as the pain is the love–
these were the words that came
rushing through me last night
when I wept for the man who took
his own life. It’s not mine to say
the horses he rescued couldn’t save him
from shame. Maybe they did.
And maybe he rose before dawn
to say thank you and goodbye.
There’s a fire burning on a farm
and a circle remembering him
in ways that I can’t. There’s a poet
who jumped to her death
and a women who set her house
on fire. A portal that opens, a veil
that fades, an illusion shattered
when great spirits fill the sky.
There’s only so much we can cry.
There are children to feed
and listen to signing, dishes to wash
and a breeze on skin not to miss.
There’s a hawk, another one,
that’s two today now, first so close
I could see its wings’ details
and this second one soaring
against the comfort of a grey sky.
There’s a little bell in my back pocket
and a bundle of sage in my bag.
A broken Buddha and for every breath,
another beat of an errant drum.
We all do our best.
To live. And to love.

This poem is dedicated to the life and memory of Paul Rickenbach-Moshimer, his wife, Pamela Rickenbach-Moshimer, the entire Blue Star Equiculture family, and our beloved friend Doug Anderson, who brought us into the fold of the farm. Please visit Jon Katz’s blog to read an incredibly beautiful piece about Paul, Chronicle of a Hero’s Death.

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