all the dreams long. Let the cat on the dog’s bed
move over enough for the dog. Let the snow,
gathered tight to the afternoon sky, relax its grip
and show us the white contours of the new world.
Let the last one to leave the room close the lights
and the first one to rise make the coffee.
Let the sorrow we carry unfurl enough to reveal
its story’s ending, whether that ending is upon us
or still to come. Let the windows hold the pink gold
of the just-rising sun and the infinite blue darkening
of the rising night. Let the flowers and stones
make their ways to the gravestones of those we love
who left but never left, no matter how tender
the pain of their imprint. Let the flowers and stones
we collect to carry in our pockets and books
remind us of all that cycles its beauty through
the gift of this life. Let the quietest clearing
in prairie or woods, party of one or crowd of crows
land us exactly where we are. Let the rain come
and our unexpected shimmeying and leaping
alone in the living room. As well, let come
the storm warnings with time enough to find
a basement, the silver light of the winter horizon,
the blue light of everyday, whether we can see it
or not. Let us remember that we are not
who we think we are but only and at last
canoes on the river of light and cooling water.
Let us paddle hard when the current switches,
and put down the paddle when the moon’s face
shines before us, below as above. Let us trust
that we will always be led where we need to go.
Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg is the 2009-13 Kansas Poet Laureate, author or editor of 16 books, and founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College, where she teaches. With Kelley Hunt, she offers Brave Voice writing and singing retreats and performance.