She sleeps in the room above me,
home for an end-of-semester visit.
A tremor passes through me when I read the morning’s headline:
She sleeps quietly
having, a mere two days ago,
rounded that fatal curve
beside which lies a coach mangled
as though by the hand of a demented sculptor.
The tremor courses through my body
It is not, to be sure, a temblor of Nepalese magnitude,
nor the rending of heart and community experienced by a family
whose son was shot dead mere blocks from my home.
But some misses feel nearer than others.
The soul-shake passes, and I breathe deeply,
seeking the breath that blows where it wills.
Life’s giftedness, its contingent and fragile nature, are palpable.
As is a fresh knowing of the strange providence by which
and have our being.
Our being with and for each other.
And I tremble, with gratitude.
This poem was submitted by Deke Spierling.