Fall Blessing

When the weight of the New day
rests upon your chest

Making rise and fall of breath
impossible to feel, and everything is numb

May you find, inside,
a sanctuary for your soul

Where the sun meets morning
with a golden glow to warm you

Where the chill of wind meets your cheeks
with a sweeping offer of serenity

Where the thinning October maple outside your window
wakes you to the beauty of fallen leaves

Where the colorless chrysanthemums in the garden remind:
nothing in nature blooms every season

Where the traveling song of birds
leaves space for tears to grieve

Where the rainclouds reveal how letting go
makes possible all of life to grow

Where the chirping of crickets at dusk
helps you hear your own heartbeat, and return to your body

Where the stars in the sky smile upon and guide you
to rest in the softness of soon-to-come snow

Notes from the interview that inspired this poem:

This person was experiencing a tremendous amount of loss and overwhelm as a daughter, parent, spouse, physician, and champion for medical school students. Together, the pandemic, racism, and the political environment were weighing heavily on her and had begun hitting close to home. In the past few months, she’d lost three very close family members. “There are many external needs right now because of these losses; I need to stay strong. But the weight is incomprehensible. I can’t see clearly; everything is too clouded with thoughts,” she said. “As a caregiver for so many others, I can’t fully mourn. I feel more numb than anything else.” As a practitioner who advocated for and taught humanistic and compassionate care for patients, she wanted this poem to be an offering of that, to herself. “I’d like for the poem to offer relief, comfort, and validation that what I’m doing is enough,” she said. “I’d like the poem to feel like a hug.”

Interviewee: Anonymous, Physician
Listener Poet: Jenny Hegland

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