after my son has left
What stock can be made of happiness,
what reckoning of the holiday. Candles burned
to the quick, the cupboards overflowing even
after you have gone. The counters strewn
with empty jars. The pleasure in counting them –
one for tomatoes plump in lasagna, a small one
for wild plum syrup over waffles, two for pears,
your favorite, eaten from the jar. One for peaches
and the sight of you in the kitchen, downing
the last of the apple cider before you hit the road.
Sugar cookies, fresh when you arrived, eaten
in front of the fire. Your request for hot chocolate
every night, a pot of coffee in the morning. Those
daily walks along the sea when the sky turned bright
so briefly, or up the mountain in the undeniable sun.
A friend writes of ecstasy. Who was it that said:
Ecstasy is a soul’s response
to the waves holiness makes
as it nears. Annie Dillard.
I remember now.
If this be the New Year approaching,
then let it be said I am blessed.
© by Judith Heron.
Used with the author’s permission.