Poem: Grace Without Explanation

Grace Without Explanation

It is a luxury, to sit at the window, no place to go,
and simply look. Take in the empty storefronts,
the slow decay of this small stretch of city streets,
the odd person here and there walking,
hunched over in the cold, collars up,
wool caps pulled love over their ears, happy
to be where you are,
sipping some overcaffeinated coffee. Happy
for the time, unclaimed. Seeing your face,
older than you remember, in the glass.
Older than you remember but your bones tell you
the truth of the mirrored image.

The past few days have been filled with memories.
Beautiful memories. Terrible ones.
One you would rather not remember, but then,
that is the way of scars – they fade,
but never quite disappear, showing up
in times of heat and cold. Cold, like today.

You have survived. Better than that, you have learned
new lessons and when you point out each scar
to the curious, you begin with the lesson,
not the wound. A storyteller to any who
have the patience or need to hear.
You have survived. and that is the greatest luxury,
worth savoring on a winter’s day,
savoring coffee, warmth, and gratitude, knowing
those are all things others lack
and you have been given.
Grace without explanation.

About this poem

It is a snowy day here in my corner of the world. I have no pressing deadlines or appointments. Time to think. Reflect. Let life flow past me like a European movie. A gift.

In the Christian faith, the word “Grace” refers to God’s favor, whether we deserve it or not. (Spoiler alert: We rarely do.)

The picture was taken in downtown Troy, NY.


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