Someone said today that writing is not
             healing –
     -in writing, it should be noted.
Begging the question of what is healing
     after all?
For certainly, the act of putting pen to
             paper will not
     unfortunately
     cause the bleeding to stop.
Eyes will not be opened as the words
             are set forth;
     children shall not rise from their
             deathbeds
          suddenly literate,
     and I do not wonder that Jesus
             didn’t take the time
          to write his own story.
In his limited time, he chose to heal.
And yet…
I wonder if Mary, in her grief,
     kept a journal
     or wished she could;
     (did Peter? Or James, or Joanna,
             or Salome?)
     to hold the stories told over a fishy
             breakfast?
To keep the intimate, first-person details
     of shared story,
     to keep the perspective from shifting
     or, perhaps, to shift it?
To manipulate, tease, pull, sift, explore
     in such a way that the conversation
             continues;
     that the lost voice lives anew,
             beloved,
     suddenly audible in scratching
             stylus.
In the intimacy of stories kept close
     there is room enough to ask that
     which lodges in the throat
     which might bring blame, or shame,
          or pity.
Face to face, pen and paper call forth
             “Why?”
Why this body, this time, this anguish?
Why, now, was there no healing
     no miracle,
     though the curtain of my heart was
             rent asunder
     and my world is summer-noonday
             dark?
Why did Mary, Peter, Thomas even
     find reprieve before their grief
          was half-begun,
     while three days in –
          – three weeks, three months –
     the stone is not rolled back?
Writing does not heal. The voices fade
     in folded paper, unmoving pen.
Not in scribing but in speaking:
     Talitha cum! Lazarus come out!
     was breath restored and life renewed
          and yet…
In quiet resurrection party afterglow,
     did those same words,
             carefully traced
     calm the reverb of a still-palpable
             fear?
In the writing, in the holding,
     in the heart-hearing moment
     are the first stitches to mend the
             curtain,
     is the glimmer of sun in noonday
             darkness,
     is the first, rough filler
          in the crackled not-quite-shatter.
The words we commit to paper
     cannot restore breath
     and quicken only the heart
             already beating.
But in the grappling with memory,
     the rhythms and patterns
     that speak with stilled tongues
          to answer our desolation
     there is the healing:
     the promise of new life,
     miraculous as any
          fourth-day resurrection.

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