tending into the turn


He deploys in early Fall……. “sometime soon after August”
– fresh stretch marks on my heart grow purple and deep
as the wave of summer crests,
rolling and spending itself towards shore.

I feel the lurch as the earth begins to exhale,
leaning into the turn of the season
like cows hungrily rambling back to the barn
as the sun slips slowly lower in pink and golden skies.


Those  tender places in my soul that groaned with the coming change
as I waved my brave boy off to camp
and then college
now sting with the coming release
as I watch him get ready to go off to war

(this thought still strikes my senses with the same sharp metallic pings that pelted my soul
while watching the first twenty minutes of Saving Private Ryan
on the big screen
while back at grandma’s house he built soldier forts
and carved battlegrounds into sand
…..how I wanted a better world for you,  my brave little towhead
always rushing at injustice and rising to protect the bullied).

I don’t want this.

Today he celebrates his promotion to “specialist”
and packs to fly far, far away
and I slip outside to suck in more air
and breathe with the tree branches rising and falling like sleeping giants.
the whole earth seeming to puff and heave with the change.

I wonder what
they dream as their leaves flutter above the rising heat.
Do they long to pull them closer,  hold them a little longer,
and dread the letting go?
Or do they sense a primal beauty in this painful dance with seasons
and relax even with the coming fall,
held firm in the grip of Love that is stronger than shadows.

Like friendly ents groaning under the weight of their own wisdom,
they seem deeply at peace with the coming release
and so,  my soul,  join them
and let go.

As I ache
and unfold to the coming season and it’s unique beauty
my hands struggle open to offer up  dread
swirling surrender and tears and paint and prayers onto fresh canvas,
fists rolling wide to let in the grace that will come
….always it comes.

~~~Please wrap this warrior poet in arms bigger than mine
and hold him close to the tender light
and love him whole even in breaking
….. cover him with your bright wings
and bring him home safe to us again~~~~~

(this is harder than I dreamed,  friends…..I embrace and appreciate your prayers)