Friday, June 04, 2010

Done with Wings

I think, and sometimes fear,
I may be done with wings.

For I have found myself walking
Among those confined
To beds, and wheeled chairs,
Who lie or sit at length and must be helped
To simply rise and turn.
It hurts when I stand over them,
So, bending my own legs,
I sit so our eyes can meet.
Some talk, and smile, and joke
As freely as the wind.
Some mumble a greeting,
Squeeze out a “yes” or “no,”
Eyes fixed over my shoulder,
Over yonder.
Some with shallow, leaking breaths
See no more, at least of me
Or this world.

I walk into their rooms.
I walk into their homes.
I walk beside their families.
I walk into their lives.
I walk into their deaths.
And now I find my feet
Have no desire to lift up off this earth.
My wings hang shrunken and limp
From disuse.
My thoughts rise only to the ceiling
Where they circulate
And fall like rain upon me again and again
Adding ballast that keeps me grounded.
So, feet firm, I stand
And then keep walking
And again and again and again,
Strength is renewed.

Once an eagle,
Eyes on distant hills,
All the world spread out below,
All the sky my playground.
No more.
I walk…
And this is enough,
And this is good,
And this is peace.
I once feared this.
Afraid to miss the view.
Afraid to think I might not feel
The rushing, bracing wind,
The spectacular sight
Of soaring high
And looking down on sunsets.

No longer.
For now I see unexplored vistas
In old wrinkled faces,
Experience lost worlds
Through scratched sepia.
“We’ve had a good life,”
I hear her say.
We embrace and part…
Walk on.
Feet on the ground.
Done with wings.
And this is enough,
And this is good,
And this is peace.

Chaplain Mike on Internet Monk (used with permission)

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