A Poem: What we Cry for

Watch what you cry for.
What brings tears like a surprise?
The relating of a story,
the asking of a question.
What brings the sudden lump,
the shock of tears on the cheeks?

Watch what you cry over.
What brings your eyes to pool?
The sharing of a challenge,
the bearing of each other’s pain.
What brings the prayer that hangs on your lips,
and shudders through your frame?

Listen for what you cry for.
What yet has not found words,
or substance to shape its form?
But which tears point to,
like maps that trace
the topography of the ground.

Listen for what you cry for.
The silence that follows speech,
but in whose stretched out space our tears fall,
teach us what words might fail to say.
The things that draw liquid
to spill wet upon our cheeks,

are always the matters
of which our hearts are filled.
And the tears that navigate us to their source
draw us to the deep quiet pool
where we see ourselves again
reflected in our gaze.

Ana Lisa de Jong
Living Tree Poetry
October 2018


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