Love Poured Within

by Carol Edwards

For Mike

Simmering in this body’s pain
I waited, expected relief,
at first seeing Hope’s shadow
around every bend;
Now I only see
a long, mirage-lined hallway
hallucinations of a fevered brain
frantic to grasp
heat waving off sand.
Is this perseverance,
unbecoming who I used to be?
Strong, but at what cost – 

like the last autumn leaf
still fixed to its tree,
a whisper and a ghost
of past vibrancy –
my vitality lost
softness a luxury
innards emptied
stuffed instead with stone
and somber earth that one day
will return unto its own.

Indwelling Spirit of the Holy One,
Your kind rebuke echoes in the pillars 
of our bones, “By Myself I swore,
for there is none greater,
that My will shall be done on earth
as it is in Heaven: your tears
and suffering unwasted shall be,
for within them they carry My purpose,
My changeless mercy.”

Carol Edwards is a northern California native transplanted to southern Arizona. She lives and works in relative seclusion with her books, plants, and pets (+ husband). She grew up reading fantasy and classic literature, climbing trees, and acquiring frequent grass stains. She enjoys a coffee addiction and aspires to be a succulent mad scientist. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications, most recently in Open Skies Quarterly and Trouvaille Review, and forthcoming in Otherwise Engaged Literature and Arts Journal.

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