happiness

Prayer for the Closing of the Day: Gratitude in the Dark.

 

I’ve been turning out the light at night to what’s become a comforting refrain.

I ask myself, “Good day?”

And I think back to everything that led me to this moment, the one where I’m curled up in a warm bed in a warm room, surrounded by books that have held my aching heart and my salty tears, the salt of the Atlantic and even some sand from that one time the waves almost washed the ink away.

The books that created worlds for me to hide in when this one got to be too much, the books with invented characters that came to life after each turn of their pages and became my closest friends.

Surrounded by the art I’ve found and the art I’ve made, and it proves that we are the creators of magic for what is magic, but simply creating something out of nothing? I have created gold out of blank space with feathers and glitter and oil paint. Recreated the eyes of animals I’ve come to know as totems. Wolves and leopards, goats and foxes. Owls and peacocks and giraffes.

I’ve brought to canvas the bones of my skeleton, the flowers of my rib-cage garden.

The tiger’s-eye glow of the streetlight beckons to that new moon taking comfort in her velvet dark. Release the old haunts, those specters in mirrored glass, those shadows behind the eyelids.  Take comfort in your darkness, allow the not-knowing to propel your desires, send them like prayers into the starless night. The day has reached its zenith, tomorrow is the hope for new beginnings.

And today I wake up to blue skies and frozen ground — a ground that has recoiled, dormant for now is the time to retreat. Coil inward and rest this good earth, these bones, this heart.

It amazes me how the roots of these trees grow for hundreds of years from saplings, and how every winter they stand vigil and carry the weight of snow. Reminding me that my shoulder blades can carry the weight of frozen feathers. That crows still swoop down from branches that shed brittle leaves like gargoyles who leave the perch of their eaves along with the bats.

Come spring, these leaves will be green, and hummingbirds will return to them along with mourning doves.

 And every seed I’ve tried to cultivate will manifest itself in flowers.

I ask myself, “Good day?”

And I glance around the room and feel the tug of a slowly growing moon pulling at my core, like a galaxy of stars pulling on strands of  our hair, its pearlescent brightness lighting up my insides, the veins and capillaries and nerve endings, like I am electricity. I hear thunder rumbling in the distance, lightning cracking on the midnight horizon.  This is home.

“It was a good day,” I think, as I switch off the light and wash the room in sparkling black.

***

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Alise Versella
Alise Versella is a poet living at the Jersey Shore. She has published three volumes of poetry which can be found at her website, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon. Her work has been featured on Elephant Journal, Women's Spiritual Poetry blog, ultraviolettribe.com, The Tattooed Buddha, and of course here. She considers herself a coffee enthusiast and self-proclaimed dessert whore, who believes with every fiber of her being that poetry, beautiful poetry, can come from the ugliest of pain. Poetry can be the salve for all the broken parts, and it can make us whole.
Alise Versella