Winter Solstice  by Jody Aliesan

Grief Sweat (Broken Moon Press, 1990)


Thinking only makes the heart sore. – I Ching



when you startle awake in the dark morning

heart pounding breathing fast

sitting bolt upright staring into

dark whirlpool black hole

feeling its suction


get out of bed

knock at the door of your nearest friend

ask to lie down beside ask to be held


listen while whispered words

turn the hole into deep night sky

stars close together

winter moon rising over white fields

nearby a wren rustling dry leaves

distant owl echoing

two people walking up the road laughing


let your soul laugh

let your heart sigh out

that long held breath so hollow in your stomach

so swollen in your throat


already light is returning pairs of wings

lift softly off your eyelids one by one

each feathered edge clearer between you

and the pearl veil of day


you have nothing to do but live