Denial Helps Us Accept the Tsunami of Loss
Denial postpones the pain as we slowly take in a new reality.
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“Now when John heard in prison what the Christ was doing, he sent a message through his disciples and asked him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” (Matthew 11:2-3, CSB)
So this is how it is, and is to be.
You’ve said so much of sparrows.
I was watching for the ravens,
for the scraps of bread and
carrion. I have walked on less,
looking for you.
I was steadied for the rains.
Think of me your scorch-tree,
your lightning rod.
Are you the coming one?
Surely he would not dismantle
his beloved: peeled
and coarsened as by fire,
as by four hundred years.
I have seen the bones of ravens
in collapse, by little fox-dens.
I have waited for your loan of wings,
disused, to clear my way.
It was not meant for this,
this voice you tended in Zarephath:
even then with oils, you softened it,
that it might go before you,
that it might pick the way,
where only locusts venture,
where the ravens soothe their prey.
I was not an ornament—you saw
that I had all the gift of clamor,
I had nothing of the grace
to relieve lilies, torn and withering,
to console each used-up songbird that,
sinking, stains the causeway.
So this is how it is: when will it be
that you urge attendant powers,
that you admonish all your whirlwinds,
and send a coach of ravens
here, for me?