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Listening Carefully

written by: Heidi Baker



She’s wanted to be carried on the wind for years,
and like a near-nothing, almost evaporate,
be as thin as the color gold and for a while,
thoughtless, empty, unshakable,
just there enough to feel when the breeze,
a motion of both autumn and spring,
begins to move across the earth.

It’s that she wants it to kiss her cheek,
an assurance, a gift of contentment
that can come from the outside
and for which she does not have to work.

Then there she is, head on the table,
blue hoodie pulled over her tear-soaked face,
traces of time rocking in and out of her mind.
She is with her mom, they are praying together,
as they do every night.

Why didn’t she curl up beside her?
Oh yes, she remembers, the neck brace,
her mom’s fragility, the too hard reality,
the fear and not wanting to believe
what was unfolding.

Hours pass, days follow days and she is lifted
on a kind of grace, a love offering
that can only come from one who knows her
from the inside and has certain gifts to give
from the world beyond flesh.

She knows her mom is right there, in spirit,
but that is soul knowing (not of sight, but faith),
yet her body must carry the burden of process
and allow the soft, soundless river
of visiting sadness to flow.

Tonight it has come from permission to heed no shoulds,
to follow only the whispered prompting of her spirit.
The smooth, cool surface of the table feels good on her forehead.

Heidi Baker

Heidi Baker

Heidi Baker is a second-generation poet and story teller whose writing reflects inner landscapes shaped by journeys of miles and other measures: from Illinois to Arizona, work to home, childhood to adulthood to parenthood. Gentle, imaginative, full of honesty and wonder, her clear writing captures the sacredness of everyday moments. In addition to her growing body of published works, Heidi creates space for other writers, youth and adult, through facilitation of workshops and groups.
Heidi Baker

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