for Rita Hartje
— Sin & Confession
You’ve asked me to speak of eagles.Of diurnal flight over moonlit valleys.
I was to offer you the brazen talon
of its faith, hope, and love. As a song.
But I lied when I said I could springthis bird from my heart willingly.
I betrayed myself into thinking
I was the keeper of its valor. I am not.
In truth, it flies through me but doesn’t see me.A ghost of old tears reflects from its eyes.
And though my soul is wretched and my ego has lied,
I long for your unconditional love. In dreams…
So many nights I’ve fallen asleep in your heart!Awoken in the world your words have built.
I can’t kiss your angelic face, but I hear its soft music.
It sings that our distance is illusion. It’s not real.
You’ve asked me to speak of eagles.Of nocturnal flight over sunlit peaks.
To take your hand, guide you across clouds,
and illustrate the strength of God. I have. In you.
With faith, hope, and love under wing,you have flown softly, quietly through me.
The embers of your saintly energy
raining down upon my soul. I weep.
Because you, my friend, are the eagle.You see me.
(From the books Selected Poems 2004-2007
and Collected Poems)