A Poem: Saving Grace

Writing has saved me more than once.
Rather over and over.

That I take any feeling to the table,
let it spill.
I need not even decipher it.
What matters is that I see it as ink
to draw with.

It is sometimes a dam,
that I must take my quill
and dip it,
or otherwise burst,
run in a thousand rivulets.

So instead I choose one
stream of feeling
and follow,
and with the tightening of discipline
and gentle restraint,

coach it, coach it to speak –
ask its name,
how should I draw it,
to give it voice
and a shape we might recognise?

And the next day,
and the next, will come it’s friends,
that I see how
each of us is a river thawing,
an island

of beasts and wonders,
and wildernesses.
And that we each must find our means
to draw
the hurts and needs,

the overarching joys
that make us human,
that make us deep wells
for mining
for pleasure and pain –

for everything that seeks a language
to give it speech –
that we might hold it to the light
for our understanding and
absolution,

and thank it for its guidance,
its divine presence, its immeasurably
saving grace.

Ana Lisa de Jong
Living Tree Poetry
March 2021


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