Poetry Porch: Poetry


by Elizabeth Reeke

    “What is Life?
    It is the flash of a firefly in the night,
    It is the breath of a buffalo in the winter time,
    It is the little shadow that runs across the grass
    And loses itself in the sunset.”

                       Isapwo Muksika Crowfoot
                         Blackfoot Indian Chief

Tiny crablegs leave their filigreed trails in the sand
     as they scurry along the tide line,
scavenging for all sort of edibles left by the sea,
burrowing into the sand as the waters rise,
re-emerging when the sea leaves its new cache of treasures
to follow the pull of the moon.

Just as surely do we scurry across the days and years of our lives,
through the inevitable periods of happiness and sorrow;
through health and illness,
through the exuberance of creative work and the periods of crippling doubt,
and always, always, through endless transformations.

When the breath of our life is washed away that one last time,
What will be left behind?
Will there be any trace of the ideals, the passions with which we lived?
Will it matter?

The sun will rise once again; the stars fill the night skies;
new life will begin its journey just as the old will fade;
but now, here in this beautiful moment,
might I walk with the resilience and determination
     of the wonderful little creatures of the seashore,
     adapting to each new rise and fall of the tides;
and when I must leave behind all that I have loved,
might I walk so gently and gracefully as that little shadow
     that loses itself in the sunset.

Copyright © 2011 by Elizabeth Reeke.