Wounded Holidays
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October 19, 2020
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Wounded Holidays


by Alan Harris

Young, they left our homes
in a moment, long or quick,
they were gone.
Dewdrops turned into teardrops,
the shining sea too small
to hold our grief.
"Give us our children back," we pled
as we noticed their plateless places
at the table.

Regret made a river through our days,
tempering laughter, pervading sudden silences.
Bodies they had through us, with us
bodies housing minds and souls
no longer.
The holiday season's return
makes throb now the wounds
we felt at their parting,
wounds which may heal
in time, we hope,
into strength
but not yet, in this season
of snowflakes that sting and cookies
that somehow taste of vinegar.

"If only," goes our carol.
If only they could return to us
but no.
If only
we could speak with them
but no. If only we could love them
so intensely that they could
feel our presence right now
but yes, yes to this one,
a thousand yesses--
they can.
How can they not feel our love,
being core in core with us,
heart in heart?
We give love this season to them and
to each other as plundered parents
and wounded healers.
With love flowing, something in our lives
a magnificent, mysterious Something
guides us like a star.