POEM: Laundered Hearts

Laundered Hearts

On those journeys
Through dark
Night
Watches
Ending only
With
Broken
Finding yourself
Alone
With a ponderous
Separating darks and lights
Threatened by grays
Hanging on by hairs and threads
Frayed
Washed out
Left
Only
Facing
The new borne
With blues and pinks
Occasional
Fresh attitudes
So nigh eve
A tough pill to swallow
That great beyond
Slipping passed
The Adam’s apple
Impassable to unknow
So stern the guardin’
Parently
A name
So hollowed
The coming reign
For given trespasses
Daily bred
On earth
As it is in heavin’
Temptations so waited
As lead
Into deliverance
Lying in stork contrast
Crying at the drop
Of a feather
Sticking together
Amidst the tears
In the veil
Throbbing us
Of our temple
Un-till
Our hearts beat back
What brings
Is new dawnings
For those following the light
For light penetrates the dark
And we not vice verse
Burnishing us for all
With laundered hearts

It seems that and has been on my recently.  After a long hospice with a friend, I received notice that my Dad’s ex-partner’s just died.  I knew that he had a long slog of it.  My note to him triggered this poem.

Like most of my , this poem explores both the dark and light side of our experiences.  is an epic theme that frames and molds how we approach .  Mourning is an essential developmental skill to navigate .  There is much to mourn in the world — some distant, some nearby.  Eventually, will close in on us.  None escape.

To bring this poem down to everyday , I use the metaphor of laundry.  This can represent the routine tasks that we must continue even if we are in deep mourning.  Sometimes this can reconnect us to our everyday living. “Laundered” can also imply an illegitimate, sleazy, or process, such as in “laundering .”  Both of these images can converge into being put through the wringer.  The real question is what comes out the other side.  Hopefully, something stronger and deeper, even cleaner, more pure.

I have also built into this poem the contrast, “the stork contrast,” between and new , newborns: the blues and pinks.  Those with more know that such youth possesses certain naive qualities as well as a refreshing aspect to puts these in sharp contrast.  Hopefully, this stark contrast imbues life with all the more preciousness.  My deepest and is that life is larger than death, more powerful than death, and even death can strengthen life.  In this poem, this is captured by the allusion to light penetrating dark but dark being unable to dispel light.

When death rubs up to you, may you be burnished, polished, and come out with a cleaner and brighter on the other side.

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