by Jo Taylor
Be like the cliff against which the waves continually break;
but it stands firm and tames the fury of the water around it.
I’ve always thought myself stouthearted not easily bruised, able to turn from those who splinter the world with their hoary wisdom and know-it-all pride, those Job-like friends descanting about what it means to live. But today I am faint, tired of turning. I need something, somebody, to teach me steadfastness in the middle of the storm. Perhaps the Great Basin Bristlecone Pine, persevering through extreme conditions to live thousands of years; scripture’s Mother Rizpah in the desert, keeping a six-month vigil over the bodies of her slain sons; the Golden Rule, holding truth without turning or shadow. Maybe Keats’ lone star with its eternal lids in the night sky or the sun moving through the heavens in its dawn-to-dusk ritual or the rocky cliff waiting, even inviting, the thrashing waves.
Jo Taylor is a retired, 35-year English teacher from Georgia. Her favorite genre to teach high school students was poetry, and today she dedicates more time to writing it, her major themes focused on family, place, and faith. She says she writes to give testimony to the past and to her heritage. In 2021 she published her first collection of poems, Strange Fire. She enjoys walking in early morning, playing with her two grandsons, and collecting and reading cookbooks.