Poem: A Sense of Sanctuary



A Sense of Sanctuary

One by one, the pieces fall out of place,
a slow, ragged deconstruction, an undoing,
reaching, eventually, the foundation,
and it all becomes rubble. Memory,
flawed, broken, inconsistent, memory
in piles, shards, and eventually, myth.

All things can be rebuilt they say,
but not in a day. It requires as much patience as persistence.
It came undone over a generation and more,
and there is no quickness to restoration.
A mere brushstroke of bright red paint
cannot save us from rot.

And so, there are the pieces. Scattered. Some lost.
What historian or patient sleuth can sort them out,
rediscover their magic, their power,
save what is saveable; mourn what is lost,
and create something new and eternal, both?

Us perhaps? You? Me?
The miracle is in the placement,
the belief. The vision of something beyond us
that refuses to die, no matter the battering,
the neglect or ridicule. No matter the time passed.
The placement of pieces, thoughtful, too often
trial and error, too often
more learning curve than surety.
A vision sometimes, nothing more
than a belief in sanctuary, that it was,
and will be again.

About this poem

So much has been lost over the past few months. It is still incalculable. stories range from individual loss to massive loss. Perhaps the biggest loss of all is our sense of safety, our learning that perhaps we put our faith in wrong things, and the sorting out again of our lives and choices and leaders to determine how we reclaim the best of us from what is left, both as individuals and institutions.

A sanctuary is supposed to be a place of safety. Where is it?  Where will we find it going forward? How will we rebuild it, recraft it, and change to make it more sure?


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