Story, Value, and Becoming More Real
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April 18, 2024

Susan Cowger

Grace comes hard sometimes, the way a mountain is nothing without a valley. I have not found God to be a proponent of no suffering. Love never lacking, He wants me to listen to the way suffering becomes grace. Suffering is about grace. Patience is a kind of waiting that sometimes looks like this poem, not with grace as the goal but as a wound healed.



I look for You in bed    reach across 

the universe for God    the way 

a blind man finds light    by 

warmth on his face    Am I only falling asleep

searching for breath without panic    Wheedling

the mind’s muscle to release forehead and tight

lips    What soothes the sinew of neck all day

belting out orders this way and that    trying to ignore

muscle fatigue     the hamstring charley horse

now a cramp of one toe    I lace my fingers just to stop

the wringing    Can one stop the ringing    insistent 

dissonance in my ears     Move on I tell myself     One by one

uncover all    naked skin of the spine    flat

against cool linen    This is the transparent ache

of exposure    face up    cold    a soul left to itself

Alone now the heart begs then relents

posturing    This is nothing

but something    shifts

not words    more like a sob    until I know

this is not a miracle to stop the inhale of want

or confusion slipping away

I am not dying in a familiar room    this is

Shhhh    No    talking





The featured image is courtesy of Sam Keyes and is used with his kind permission for Cultivating.


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