Light Like Wa­ter

New England Review - - Table Of Contents -

One sea­son bleeds into another. As rivulets form streams, and streams find rivers, as rivers lose them­selves com­pletely in the sea, in March, on the first warm day, we lose our­selves in light. Like rain, it falls on ev­ery­one, the saved and those that aren't com­pletely sure. Light like wa­ter.

Face up­turned to the sun, the in­valid body, no nurse avail­able, drinks with thirst un­quench­able. Would kneel and give thanks if it could kneel. The light is mer­ci­ful, com­plete. It falls on graves, soaks deep into the earth, down and far­ther down, so that the fin­ger­tips of the dead be­gin to tin­gle, are warmed, and touch­ing dry faces, know they are re­mem­bered. Light like wa­ter. Tears run down chilly cheeks. But what do tears mean? Tears are not words, but tears can speak of things not easily spo­ken of.

The win­ter was un­end­ing, all void and im­passe. No corpse be­lieves in spring. Thirst was ever-present, but the word for thirst was gone. But to­day the chil­dren on the play­ground fling off their heavy coats. They run through walls of light as if through waves at a far-off seashore. They shout. Their voices come and go. Light like wa­ter. The spar­rows peck the seeds I scat­ter and wait, as we all do, for more. We all want more.

Face up­turned to the sun, eyes closed, like some­one very old ( how old am I?), I drink it in. Light like wa­ter. Stunned by it all, I say the words over and over and step into the light again.

El­iz­a­beth Spires

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