Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Neighbor's Prayer

A poem I wrote years ago for my next-door neighbor when his brother died: 

Echoes of pain pass through the walls,
echoes of aching.
Aches for lost laughter
lost presence, lost ... all;
echoes of loss.

Perhaps the pain is really mine:
I hear true echoes
bouncing back from the walls.

I don't know your pain,
but I know my pain...

Or perhaps I do, perhaps
a death is a death is death.
Though each must differ,
the blow is the same.

I don't know you;
I don't know him.
I can't know your heart,
but I do know pain.
And I know sorrow.

Are you crying? I wonder.
Or sitting stunned?
I try not to think, but the ache keeps knocking;
the sadness seeps through.

I can only keep praying.
What else can one do?
Only He and His Time
can touch, transform...
but they are so slow.

If I could grant you comfort
I would give you comfort.
But it's meaningless now
only you can find it.

If you can hear a hope,
hear a tiny hope:
Consolation waits for you.
Though its being you can't believe,
it waits for you,
waits patiently.

Only this do I dream:
That the waves of woe 
that wash these walls
pull back with them support
and all that prayer can give.

May you hear eachoes too,
echoes of concern:
I'm sorry, I'm sorry,
I'm so very sorry.
May God be with you; my He be with you and hold you:
hold you, oh, hold you, 
keep, keep holding.