Just for the Record

03/20/23 at 07:00 AM by Cordt Kassner

Just for the Record

When I’ve reached that certain age
and you wonder about my mental fitness…

Don’t ask me
who's President
or what year it is
or even what month

Ask me
what finches are drawn
to the thistle feeder
or what color the fire
when the hardenbergia blooms
in March
or how Willie-dog
spent his final hours
lying in the cool morning grass,
face tipped toward heaven
to receive the last of this earth’s sunshine
as a final blessing

Don’t ask me
to count backwards
by sevens
or to draw you a clock
or to tell you the time

Ask me
to tell you
when time stood still
or if I want more time
or how time passed so quickly

Don’t ask me
to take a deep breath
or to breathe normally

Ask me
what took my breath away
or when I knew beauty
so clear and pure and true
I couldn’t catch my breath

Don’t ask
to listen to my heart

Put your stethoscope away
and listen to what set my heart
on fire, what frayed
its very edges, or when pride and awe and love
nearly broke my heart

Ask me
What really matters
Was it all worthwhile
Who I’ve loved
and how

What binds us to all eternity
What’s at the very center
when all else is peeled away,
What will last – really last –
not anger or grief,
but music and art and poetry
and trees

Ask me
if I have hope,
not for myself
but for the world

And if I don’t answer…

Set down your hurry
Bring me a slice of calm
with some tea
Then pull your chair close,
take the pale wither
of my hand in yours,
and just sit, sit
with me

© Dale A. Lombardi, 2023

Back to Today's Encouragement