A Poem: Ashes in the Hand

How often are the things we carry
made of ashes held in the hands.

Whole in memory,
carried with careful intention.

How often do we look
through yesteryear’s lens.

Make the mistake of perceiving something
as solid and real,

as continuing.

How often can we face ourselves
as lone sojourners,

walking on the ashes of everything
surrendered.

There is no containing anything.

Even the things we are given
are only ever lent.

And any sense of possession
is all on our side.

How often are the things we carry
too heavy.

Perhaps we were not meant to cleave
to anything.

Yes, the idea of everything as illusion
is not truth.

But everything has a season,
its long day in the sun.

Ana Lisa de Jong
Living Tree Poetry
February 2020


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