Make Me

girl on track

Unjustly scorned, I fancied self-control
could somehow keep misunderstanding’s reign
from drowning out the music in my soul.
I’d only march along the sunlit lane
and never have to stumble, stoop, or bend.

The lessons in the dense and tangled brush
are difficult — who’d willingly extend
the season of their sorrows? I would rush,
but Father, keep me here until You’re through.
For laughter fades, and all is vanity
that doesn’t help produce a servant who
surrenders everything unselfishly.

It’s not the celebration, it’s the loss
that draws me to the shadow of the Cross.

 

cc-by-nc-nd  Mary Boren, 2003

Indivisible

door-handle

While watching you, asleep, soul-sinking thoughts
flood to the fore on rising waves of doubt.
How can I brave tomorrow’s chill without
your touch, your footsteps, and those million watts
of magic in your smile? My heart allots
itself a single, stifled whisper. “No!”
I have no voice, no choice. I must let go
midst whirlpools of what-ifs and what-if-nots.

For you were bound to someone else in strands
of interwoven loyalty before
we ever met. My love for you demands
your leaving will not rip me to the core.

I stroke your little baby grandchild hands
to waken you; your mother’s at the door.

———

cc-by-nc-nd Mary Boren, 2002

 

Lessons Learned in the Dark

candles

I. Surrender

“What doesn’t kill you strengthens you.”
Perhaps, for those whose goal
is tyranny, pain’s wielded like a sword.
But, on a gentler parallel,
it binds me to the whole,
exposing all my weakness. Pain’s a cord.

I seek, instead, experience
that empties all I am
(assuming, first, the Self is mine to yield)
into the flowing Mystery
that breaks this human dam
of fear and spills across the open field.

If I, in passing circumstance,
can catch the cresting flow
of consummate compassion, may I give
the trapped debris that barred me from
the current to the foe …
for only in surrender can I live.

II. Forgiveness

I won the battle; lost the war.
You’re not my enemy.
At last, I wonder what has been attained,
and how much love was squandered in
the time it took to see
Fear’s alter ego, Arrogance, restrained.

What is it that entitles me
to fancy I can judge
another’s heart? I don’t know where it’s been,
or how the blanket wrapped around
that soul got stained with sludge,
or what’s been siphoned out or ladled in.

For hollow is the victory
where fractured dreams occurred —
those clanking bones that muster to defend
the id. They quell the music of
an understanding word
that might repair the rift and save the friend.

III. Gratitude

“In everything, give thanks.” It’s not
a sugar-coated bite
of Pollyanna platitude. For me,
it keeps the heart attentive to
those blessings wrapped in light
the universe bestows abundantly.

But what about adversity —
the unrelenting sigh
of disappointments, illnesses, and tears?
A butterfly emerging from
its chrysalis would die
but for the struggle. Workouts bridle fears.

So, mindful in expressing praise,
rejoicing in each thing
synonymous with good, I must include
unanswered prayer, the harbinger
of transformation’s sting.
It’s unconditional, this gratitude.

———

cc-by-nc-nd Mary Boren, 2003-5