What I Brought

I stood on the border of my wilderness.
It beckons in silent commandment,
my feet feeling for the road
that is dusty and half hidden
under brambles and desire.
I am draped in cloth of gold
that pales under a sun of glory.
Rings of silver and lapis
grace my graceless fingers
and offer only a hollow echo
to the spark of stars and moonlight
that litter the night sky.
Laden with my gathered gifts
I gather in the best of me,
my harvest sown
to leave at the foot of Sinai
at the altars of God.
I traverse the desert
in forty-nine steps
spinning my measure of grain into a promise.
One day. And the next.
And again
and yet again.
Days pass.
I am gathered in
to leave at the altar
my best
for God.
I stand at the foot of that mountain
and I tremble in wearied joy
and exultant fear.
I reach for my offering basket,
to lay it full upon that altar.
And see behind me
in that trackless
silence
my fruit
my first and finest gifts
tumbled and trampled
stretching back forty-nine steps and more—
And I weep.
I lay my tears on that altar
with my sorrow
and my yearning
my hopeless desire
my brokenness
and pain.
For I have nothing left to offer
(that is mine to give).
And I turn to collect bright feathers.
They drift down around me,
a shower of white and gold, and silver and lapis.
A glinting
glistening opal fire
of glory.
And I gather them up,
gather them in,
fashioning them into wings
of scattered light.
And I fly.

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