Sharon Mayes

By Sharon Mayes

How well I know
hope blossoms in spring
from death.
This year after twenty years
of dragging my invisible cross
from continent to continent,
city to suburb to country,
across ocean and ocean,
I walk perilously alone
on the edge of living.
This year I abandon my albatross.
I throw the stones back to the ground.
I watch a real human heart
take its last beat, and stop
while mine goes on.
I am not dead yet.
The other has perished
in spite of my breathing with him,
and for him.
I can give only a moment,
I cannot give eternity.
I fly from my golden cage
and exist in my human body,
not in the hands of a doctor
who operates outside the room.
I rise with the sun,
feel light and warm
with a new power.
I see the beauty of cherry trees
in flower.

I stride on this planet,
not ascending into heaven.
Behind me is the illusion of everlasting anything.
My feet are planted on this hallowed ground.
I embrace the imperfection of all I am
All I ever will be.
I am no instrument of history.
Two millenniums ago Christ carried his own cross,
but he did not nail himself to it.
I carried my cross around my neck,
my life in suitcases of the dead.
A kiss from Judas gave Him
his excuse to be free.
No one had a kiss for me.
I cast off my own devils,
My doubts and self-imposed rules,
Many chains of gold and jewels
All vestiges of who I do not want to be.
This morning I wake in peace.
Thankful for my own resurrected soul.
God saved his son for you.
I saved me for me.

Sharon Mayes, April 2001
Revised April 2003

What Would You Say?
By Sharon Mayes

What would you say if someone asked?
Is life worthwhile?
Would you tell the truth of the moment?
In the end would your answer stand?
Would you think at once
of footprints in the sand?
The way they wash away
in less than a day.
There are only two today.
Is life worthwhile
without another soul to ask the question to?
Can you rest the question
like a book on a shelf?
Would it help to shout it out
like a mourner’s lament
sent on the wind
where a bird, perhaps,
is the lone recipient?
What about the wish to become
more than one,
to connect with an other,
to be two?
If someone asked me:
Is life worthwhile?
I’d give them a smile,
but no answer in words.
I really don’t know.
I only know how I feel
like waves in the ocean,
blown back by the wind,
pulled forward by tides,
forever in motion.