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murmurings not so long ago

The next hour comes in quiet
And we find ourselves stepping over pretty dolls, soft toys
And something left by a cat that played around the edges
Of our Grand Children’s stay.

Not that they stayed
They played and talked and held us in their arms
While we adored and made the most of every coy-smiling private joke
In those moments when they came close to our side of a liminal stairway
Which promised sweet laughter and forever-treasures and made us all listen carefully
Ever so carefully to those murmurings
Not so long ago birthed from the very heart of god.

Was it reluctantly I wonder?
Or was it with that same gladness of sunshine
And sugar and chocolates to share with everyone
We see in these little ones not yet touched
By our protecting and storing because-we-have-to?

Infinite love, they say is the most recent memory
Of those mystified-deep-pools for eyes
Of a baby-that’s born in wonder every second
And seems to know something we don’t
And lives on the carefree side: trailing clouds of ‘holy, careless glory’1.2

I go with that for now
But even as I write, awful news of friends schism-ed apart passes across the room
But still I write and refuse to let go of the soft toys
And those carefully listened-to murmurings of my most recent memory.

(Peter Volkofsky – Autumn 2014)

1 William Wordsworth. 1770–1850, 536. Ode Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood
2
MacDonald. G. in his novel Sir Gibbie (“For the bliss of the animals lies in this, that, on their lower level, they shadow the bliss of those–few at any moment on the earth–who do not ‘look before and after, and pine for what is not,’ but live in the holy carelessness of the eternal now.” … “But every honest cry, even if sent into the deaf ear of an idol, passes on to the ears of the unknown God, the heart of the unknown Father.”

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