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When grief hits – really hits

when finality folds in upon you

with all its echoing emptiness

Some people run, just for the sake

of moving

of having something to do

with still-living flesh

arms and legs that cannot contain

the unbearable.

And I watched as the men looked

rummaged, flailed, fled

I, whom grief turned to stone

unmovable but for the flood

pouring down my cheeks

clinging to my lashes

until the world blurred:

lost its form in a haze

of light and water.

Movement again, yet not

with the speed of whirling grief.

My eyes, half-blind, streaming

saw first the dirt

upon the stranger’s hands

as though he’d been entrusted

with coaxing new growth

from fertile earth.

Between tear-shimmer above and below

he appeared,

walking through the garden

in the cool of the morning

radiant with the first light of day.

“Where is He? For I know

He Is


and I promised to follow.”

And he spoke, and the world became


as on the first Day.

One word, and I was made new.


The mirror reflects too clearly,

all crystal-clear flaws

shards of foolishness, cutting deep

within my soul.

The more perfect reflection

have I found in the depths

of your eyes

where love does not dwell on imperfection

on that which I guard jealously

so as to keep the mirror pure.

Therefore, the day when I beheld

in that mirror-gaze I so needed

not only affection,

but grace!

You dare, cherished reflection

to scour the vulnerable depths?

to show me what I so despise

even clothed in forgiveness?

You were to be reflection, not judge.

Your eyes were to be mirror,

sightless before the windows open to your gaze.

Your eyes were to be mirror,

reflective of untarnished future

bright-white dreams and


It takes gall, indeed, to forgive that

to which I would deny entry;

to see me with all the sharp-edged clarity

I so long refused.

To see in those eyes, in which I had found

the means to like myself

(or, at least, to hate myself less),

compassion? empathy?

I did not seek after those.

For your eyes to blur my reflection with

mercy? with grace?

I defy you.

I reject the mirror that dares

to pierce me so cruelly;

to cut me open on crystalline splinters

and expose my hidden darkness

to generous light.

For the mirror to see, could there exist

a more devastating


I cannot forgive your


Based on John 6:64-66, 70-71
with thanks to Karoline Lewis for words that started this train of thought.