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Echoes, as strong as ocean waves,
as faint as ripples on a garden pond,
carried like a secret whispered in a crowded room;
And ringing in my head they seemed
like quiet, scattered revelations
sent to tease my solitary muses.

I wondered at their portent as
one who gazes at the night sky
tries with outstretched hand
to touch a single, distant star;
Hope a reality, and contact
just beyond her fingertip.
And so with sigh and mental shrug
focus is channeled to what is
more familiar - as dim recognition
is a cold replacement for the searing
of bright recollection.

Now the shadows reveal themselves,
the introductions not unlike those of
distant ancestors to future generations.
Each face from the past somewhat mirrored
by infant eyes and childish lips
yearning to see and speak the knowledge
that would send my weighted soul
on a journey of expansive discovery.

Knowledge wanes then swells,
the ebb of discovery drawing
future to past and past to present;
I am the vortex.
Yet though they pass through me
in shallow breaths I cannot
fathom the secret fears they leave
in the dusted wake trailing
their winding path.

The rising joys - a peak, a glimmer -
converge in my chest and flutter, pound,
in a space long devoid of discerning.
An image rippled by falling tears
that glimmers and shatters
then collects the slivers and regroups,
catches my eye and causes my heart to leap.
An image of things to come,
revealed to me with the clarity
of dawning light. Oh, I would
claim them for my own.

Time will bring to me assurance.
Assurance, hope; faith that wavers not.
Dreams will navigate me
to that destination,
a subconscious journey, a passage
from the demons' lair behind,
from imagined worlds of bliss;
from here, from there;
from then, from now;
to unite all certainties
with all possibilities;
to thrive on the surprise each
unlived moment holds for us;
to acknowledge that by living
we accept the mysteries that lie ahead.

To you.

© 1999 by Louise Riley and John Schneider. All rights reserved.