A Poem: Gifts

Break open like the seed that you are.
You are the skin of an orange enclosing sweetness.

You are a gift carried in cupped hands.
A perfume caught on the wind by the passerby,
wondering its origin.

Break open that you can be both gift and container
of each fallen blessing.

Break open that nothing you need can’t be received,
and nothing withheld that cannot be given.

That we can be both the fruit that is bitten into
and the seedling drinking in the rain and sun,

is the double blessing often hidden,

until we see how to open is not always to receive,
but to live like flower heads inviting bees for pollination,

or oranges
in hands dripping juice.

Yes, that we are a gift in cupped hands
and also a container for receiving,
is the secret we are sometimes slow to believe.

To know that we don’t have to release anything,
or arrive at our holy destination
to become anointed oil running,

or the bud greeting the bees,
or the gardenia, fragrant in white,

turning heads.

Ana Lisa de Jong
Living Tree Poetry
December 2020


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