Broken Light

by Lisa Harris

shadows recede and
light breaks open in a sunrise
and later dissolves on the horizon as it sets.

Light shatters when a bulb falls
on the floor at our feet.
Shards are swept beneath a rug.
They work their way through fabric
to cut the feet of whoever stands on them.

Light warms us and drives shadows—
doubt, worry, loss–
underground where they rot– a dead animal.
Rancid smells seep through
at picnics and parties,
when we rake leaves or fertilize grass.

How do we know when
to be present, when to be absent,
and when to nourish another?
After we have nourished ourselves.
Then we bring blueberries and brie,
sliced peppers and cucumbers.

We know love in our hearts
as mangoes on our tongues.
Truth through words and deeds
tastes salt and sweet, savory and bitter.
Under an oak tree, each person wonders:
Do you love me?
And what answer comes?
Kindness is love—made of presence,
made of absence,
made of silence—a leaf falls,
a bud opens, a frog hops, a chickadee
shifts on its nest.

Light flows through us, travels to where
it is  needed, and repairs what is broken.
Each soul shifts.
Knowing love, it rests.


Category: Poetry, SNHU Creative Writing, SNHU online creative writing