Friday, March 23, 2012


Dear Mary,

May this poem be one of the waves of appreciation in support of your deepest well-being.


Consider all the Marys.
And the Marias, too, if you like.
Let all the Marys fill you
like sunlight sparkling on waves.
And then pick one. A Mary, and a debt
of gratitude you can never repay.
What was her gift?
From time to time I visit a woman
who helps me with my aches and pains.
Sometimes she holds my head in her hands
for minutes at a time. Unusual
to feel another holding my head up.
That’s my job.
It takes some effort
to give her that weight,
but after awhile her coaxing, sensing presence reaches me:
C’mon, let go.
Maybe pain exists to find this kind of love.
At the tidepools in Bolinas with my Dad we squirmed
as the anemones grabbed our little fingers.
How to have a heart like that?
Open to all that washes in,
intruders and grit and the sea itself,
take what nourishes
and release the rest.
Meanwhile, Hell is when every day is judgment day.
The gate swung open, or at least the hinge gave way,
at “you do not have to be good.”
What else would God say through a Mary?
What other saving would a soul require?

J McKnight

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