Things Too High For Me
(From Psalm 131).
Lord, my heart is not haughty:
Of course, I had the advantage of birth: born in Springside,
voted least haughty hamlet in Saskatchewan.
Nor my eyes lofty:
One pretty much follows the other: farming town, curling rink,
proud of our blizzards, which kept us from taking the Yellowhead
to Yorkton – massive, unpredictable city.
Neither do I exercise myself in great matters:
Except one day I packed a bologna sandwich and rode my horse, Chummy,
hard, all the way to my cousin’s farm by the Whitesand River dam.
Later, Chummy, dying of colic, my uncle in mercy put him away,
leaving me stung and hollow, a puddle of regret, my adolescent presumption
causing the death of something I loved, something that large.
Or in things too high for me:
Like this ghost-pale moon,
weeping light over gopher-pocked pastures,
bringing cool June drizzle, brooding sloughs, and pain
that strains theodicy, and no arithmetic that joy will come in the morning.
Surely I have behaved and quieted myself:
I’m quiet, but it’s false to say it was of my own agency,
as truthfully, it’s growing old that’s quieted me,
it’s loss that’s taught me,
surrender to the Mystery.
As a child that is weaned of its mother:
From provinces away, my mother watched, heard news,
and loved me still – down all these galloping years,
she was always just across the room.
My soul is even as a weaned child:
Rogue child steps out the front door into the giant blue.
Seasons of sidereal dreams, mottled mist, leveling winds,
and the leavening light of a thousand sundowns: his habit now,
to bend a creaking knee, bow a greying head,
wipe his dimming eyes and trust the night.