Magnolia and Goldenrod

Late bloom on a magnolia-type tree in the little garden area behind my school.

I feel like I want a disclaimer before I write a poem about sadness. I realize that my life has been free of the iron grip of sadness that many people experience through depression or trauma or deep, recurring grief. I wrote this poem because I am trying to be Rumi’s Guest House and welcome in any and all who come my way, to learn from them what they would teach me. Sometimes I am a poet sitting at a pool, fishing out a single word at a time. Other days, I sit beside the stream, and the poem jumps right out into my lap and only needs to be tidied up a bit before they’re ready for the page.  This is one of the latter, though I think I will need to spend some time fishing for more of an ending.

She’s a strange guest, is Sadness.
She knocks on the door
and when I open it
she turns her face away, says,
“You probably shouldn’t invite me in.”

But when I close the door,
she comes in anyway,
seeping in around the edges of the door
and standing with her back to the wall.
And then she grows.

When I look directly at her, she dissipates
into the indigo shadows,
and all I can see are her eyes,
full of grief, full of resignation.

Sadness. It’s hard to know her, really,
to understand what she wants of me.

Sometimes she comes in as a cold wind
and I feel my senses tingle with the approach of her
before the world goes numb in her silence.

Gratitude List:
1. Goldenrod! Everywhere is goldenrod! I am awash in it. Fields of it along the roadway between Maytown and Elizabethtown. There was goldenrod in almost every flower bouquet at Linda’s viewing the other night. I love that I will now have that association.
2. Learning to greet all the guests (a la Rumi)
3. Going to Hersheypark with my fellas today.
4. How little Greta the Schnauzer loves the kids. She is my mother-in-law’s neighbor dog, and she gets beside herself when we pull in, only settling down quietly to watch after everyone has properly greeted her.
5. A comparatively light grading stack this weekend.

May we walk in Beauty!

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