After the party
when the guests have gone
when the moon is smaller,
when the sun is scarcer, the days shorter
when my body won’t stop shivering
even after I’ve buttoned my coat,
it’s just us here.
Darkness is coming quickly and I need to go.
There’s work to be done.
But first let’s stay a moment
reflecting on the glory of all that has been
and all that is.
That way when I’m walking into darkness
I can notice the light in the eyes of strangers
recognize my brothers and sisters
and find you there.
And if someone needs a coat
and I have the courage to offer mine
please give us both a hug.
2 Replies to “Eighth Stop”
Aryae, I’m in awe! and so excited to be on this journey with you.
Through these years, your depth of expression has grown and developed in an incredibly beautiful way. In “Eight stop”, with so few words, your use of metaphor expresses so much – the aging process, the preciousness of life, and your deep personal relationship with Hashem.
And, when left to oneself, realizing the oneness of all Beings and the work to be done.
When Maury, who also was deeply touched by our poet friend, read the last lines “if someone needs a coat and I have the courage to offer mine”, he was reminded of the following story: Friends of his from Cleveland, an older couple, Eugene and Florence Selker, were dining at Windows on the World in the World Trade Center when the truck bomb exploded in the basement (in 1993, well before 9/11). They managed to escape to the ground floor and out the door having left everything behind.
In the cold February evening, coatless and shivering, they ran several blocks as quickly as they could away from the burning building. Florence was so cold and in shock that her teeth were chattering–she was shaking all over. A homeless man, seeing her distress, gave her his blanket.–Yes, it’s the Eighth Stop and there is work to be done.
Great story from Maury. What an amazing experience for Florence and a powerful example for us all.
Thank you for your gift of receiving this poem so deeply.