Poetry Porch: Forgiveness


For Eve Rutherford 
by Charles Fishman

              A dream and a prayer 

In celebration of life
the planet stayed awake:
men and women broke free
from their blind rush
toward the future.

A few took hold of the moment
and held tight:
they would calm the raving,
solace the wounded, warm
the homeless, succor the starving.

They gave of their time,
their energy, their blood.
There were no marching bands,
no flashing lights, no
colored streamers.

Children waited 
for their parents to change back,
for the usual forgetting,
butin celebration of life
there was music and dance:

an air of gentleness
that stirred leaves to a deeper
a slow swaying chant
of the body.

Flags stilled over the great hive
of embassies
and the song of peace quieted
the last hold-outs among
the violent.

                  * *

Dear Eve, in your eyes
I see the promise of a new Eden:
not that fall from innocence
into a fatal knowing
but knowledge of love

and a long memory . . .
on your lips all the names
of the dead
but in your hands the spirit
of forgiveness.

May you be bride of life,
sister of history,
mistress of your heart.
And may the earth dream again
under your healing touch.

Copyright © 1985 by Charles Fishman. Used with permission of Charles Fishman.

This poem first appeared in Green Fuse (1995).