(For Janet and Karen)
In the darkest days of my youth,
I had moments that were devoid of hope;
each day, I carried cement bags of sorrow.
I began clawing lightness from other sources.
Literal sources—a light bulb, a candle,
the last embers of day slipping beneath the horizon.
Day after day, I pleaded, promising everything
until finally hope drifted in to my life,
like an entitled breeze, demanding daylight enter.
I didn’t care how awkward the entry.
I wasn’t expecting a soft caress—instead
I knew with all my heart:
Hope is the first crocus of spring,
the bulb pushing through the frozen surface;
the sigh of an old dog settling into sweet sleep.
It’s the realization that all is never lost.
Hope became my most cherished companion,
my reason for going on.