Frank and I met at The Fioretti.
It’s one of his favorite spots, you know
because of the outdoor seating
that lets us dine with his animal friends.
Besides, he really loves their vegan Ruben.
The wait-staff knows us well
and turns a blind eye
when he slips his Birks off under the table
or when Verna, his favorite chicken,
hops up for a snuggle and the promise of pie crumbs.
Though we love the view and Genmaicha, tonight we are quiet.
We watch dusk come slowly over the café,
turning itself round three times,
like an old cat,
before settling with a sigh to rest upon the land.
We are mourning for Newton;
thinking of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary;
tasting tragedy and loss.
We hold hands; pet nearby feather and fur.
We reach for every source of hope, like survivors do.
Then through his palm
and through my tears I feel a whisper.
On the wind, rumbling up through the dirt,
speeding into me,
I hear a new prayer...
I am as I was born, an instrument of peace.
Where there is hatred, let me listen and offer compassion.
Where there is injury, let me bring healing and mercy.
Where there is doubt, let me honor questioning.
Where there is despair, let me know my own fortune and let me share it.
Where there is darkness, let me sit and offer comfort in the night.
Where there is sadness, let me embrace.
Oh Life and all that is Divine,
may we offer consolation and may we open to consoling;
may we be understood as we continue to work for greater understanding,
may we love and let ourselves be loved.
For we are blessed in giving and receiving,
and in forgiving, we learn to cut ourselves some slack
for in living, we are born to Eternal Love.