Immanuel (A Psalm in Late Summer)
“Do not fear, I am with you always,” you whisper,
always whispering (what does your voice sound
like when you are not? I want to remember it)
in the rustle of the wind and the leaves in the trees,
in my half-full glass of tea, in my empty bowl
of oatmeal, in the mockingbirds
trilling, all around, in the green, everywhere green.
We decided your favorite color must be green, or
maybe you just knew we should like it best,
a theme and set of variations that depend on the light, or the swiftly
changing hue of the air, from one beauty to another.
Thank you that the wind in the poplar trees
is you, here, and that the birdsong I haven’t heard in so long
(or maybe I wasn't listening)
is here this morning, and that is also you.
And the shadows of the branches dancing
on the fence—that is you too, isn’t it? Let it be you!
O my God, thank you for not being a senseless God!
I don’t mean in your mind, but I mean that you touch
us. And I mean you are not black and white, but I mean
you are full of color, and movement,
and taste and sight. You are light, and song,
and not only words on a page but geese overhead,
and a chorus of trees and the sky blue and the roses
bright red, who are unable to do anything but burst
forth in praise, unable to do anything but join in
the song everything else is already singing:
Thank you. Fear not. Take heart. I love you.
Cover image by Angela Loria.