Poetry’s Gift

/ …………Together they wove………..\
/ a web so strong it became haven \
| to joy-soaked grief; sacred weaving |
\..revealing sun’s light gleaming../
\ on salty raindrop diamonds, /
\..portaled by poetry into../
\ this life, reminds of /
\ the time before /
\ they were /
\ three /
\ — /

Notes from the interview that inspired this poem:

This was a beautiful and heartfelt conversation with three women who all worked in medical education. They were connected through a poetry group they’d created together. The women wanted to share their experiences of building deep friendship and co-creating joy through poetry. Toward the end of the conversation, after they had offered anecdotes about their favorite poems and most meaningful shared experiences, one of the women began to cry as she reflected on a particularly memorable moment she recently shared with one of the others. “It was the kind of experience, like after a storm when you notice raindrops clinging to the plants, especially the ones with spider webs. The raindrops shine like little diamonds. For me, knowing that our time is limited, I want to capture and hold every one of those moments, so precious like those little diamonds of water on spider webs after the rain,” she said.

The other woman (who had been referenced in the aforementioned memory) shared next. “I have been treated for advanced cancer for several years now,” she said. “There is no cure for it. What’s been most meaningful to me is that we’ve been able to share life together in a way that is different than how we normally would–like the little diamonds on the spider webs. We’ve created a precious thing together.” The third woman connected with the imagery as well, and in that moment everything softened and blended. The metaphor revealed the sacred essence this group of friends had cultivated through poetry. Poetry was their portal to shared vulnerability, meaning-making, friendship, playfulness, joy, love, and grieving the inevitable impermanence of it all. I left the conversation feeling deeply grateful for the rare privilege and gift of bearing witness to their story.

Interviewee: Anonymous, Group of Staff
Listener Poet: Jenny Hegland

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