A Poem: Who you are

What you wear matters less
than what you say,
and what you say matters less even
than the words already living
in your midst.

The words, that when your lips
begin to move, find the shape,
the clothing that fits,
that their very authenticity will
find an ear in the hearer.

And what you wear
hardly compares
to what lies underneath,
the shine that no grey garb
can prevent from breaking through.

And who you are,
what we see –
even when you are still to know it fully –
will seep as water from a vessel,
holy as the light through trees.

A vessel restored again and again,
that each repair
gives it the gift of wisdom,
empathy,
compassion for the masses of humanity.

Yes, that we are each light,
that in part we need to cover ourselves
so we don’t make each other blind,
is a truth we are not
always able to believe.

Nor that our humility,
giving off its gentle glow,
is the reason we are not born complete
or fully confident – that we might each
safely enter one another’s presence

circling as moths drawn
to a brightly burning flame.

Ana Lisa de Jong
Living Tree Poetry
February 2021


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