The Gift: A Poem

THE GIFT

On the last day before the flight

I kissed you softly, 

Made love to you gently. 

The whole world seemed

Such a fragile thing 

And I didn’t want it to break.

The air was crystal, the earth clay

My heart was 

Diamonds and dust.

On the Sunday of the flight 

With the last hug and kiss, 

And the last goodbye,

 

I watched you 

Shrink to a speck 

And a sigh inside. 

For the first time 

I could feel 

The weight of my body 

As I moved to gather 

A flight bag full of clothes 

And lift my knapsack 

Filled with mail for my brother, 

Books and a Bible, 

And our love letters onto my shoulders. 

The check-in was slow. 

I was too early. 

The counter was vacant. 

I was restless this Sunday 

Thinking and searching 

For a quiet place to pray. 

I found the airport chapel 

Just beyond the x-ray and security gates 

Wedged between two noisy people movers. 

It was empty, 

Quiet and 

Tranquil. 

I prayed like I usually do 

For all the departed souls 

That touched my life 

And all the other living 

Who needed a little help 

Just to get there. 

I prayed for our love to last, 

Just to make sure 

His Gift to us was always honored. 

In the soft muffle of the

Air-conditioner coming on  

I heard an answer. 

“It will last just as surely as the wind blows 

Through fields and forests 

And on all our skins.

 –

Feel it there, 

Soft and fragile 

And repeating 

And know that 

My promise 

Is everlasting 

And as sure 

As the fragile cycles 

Of breath and blood.

Feel the softness of the sun on you

As it yields to fragile moonlight and 

Know that the two are mated in their deference, 

And in that deference 

Exists the promise 

Of all love. 

I created the world out of fragile things, 

Forged man from dust and clay, 

Wrapped the soul up in a cocoon of beauty, 

So I could always protect it with my love, 

That is hard and true 

And everlasting. 

So when you feel love, 

And feel glass in your heart, 

You can see and touch the stars

 –

And know my promise 

Is in the soft embrace of her love 

And the touch of her kiss.”