Even while we never set it down,
Or lose it, or forget the sounds,
There are better songs than love and loss.
A child’s open outburst, caution after,
Because she’s learned to fear laughter,
But for a moment it peals free.
Repentance wrenching honesty
From the depths of tragedy,
And pulling beauty out of ashes.
A man putting aside his appetites,
To feed the starved, which satisfies
Them both together.
A crumpled woman, under condemnation,
Who stands forgiven inside salvation,
Treasured for once and forever.
I’ve seen these bits of heaven realized,
They make this mortal coil, this great enterprise,
Worth all the time and breath,
And years and tears and loss.