I have been on a bit of a digital break over the holidays, but here we are with the first Sunday Weekly poem of a new year and a new decade. I fully intended to do a 2019 reflection on 30th December, but as it happens I became fully engaged in baking for an alcohol-free New Year’s gathering with friends instead. The days slipped by and then Sunday morning rolled around and I needed to write the weekly poem. This is not to say that I did not write over that week, because I did, but that is material that has been submitted to an anthology of women’s writing with the working title Bloody Amazing!
No sooner than the New Year’s decorations were taken down, I looked onto social media and I find words like Armageddon and apocolypse being bandied about. Immediately, (I am not lying) Archbald MacLeish’s sonnet The End of the World came to mind. Macleish lived through World War I, served with the precursor of the CIA in World War II, saw the Cold War and atomic bomb threat, and wound up his days in the Library of Congress. According to the text book anthology I used in college, The End of the World was published in 1926.
While perusing some the the decade reflections in print media I noticed that 2016 is considered the worst year in the 2010-2019 decade. Yet, it was the happiest for me as I married my long-time love that year. (Though at the time some friends did say it was the anticipated happy moment that was keeping them going and reason to get out of bed in the morning.) Anne Lamott echoes this observation in a book I got for Christmas, Almost Everything. (Canongate, 2019). This quotation in the Prelude inspired today’s Sunday Weekly poem. As did Dickens in Tale of Two Cities when he observes that it was both the best and worst of times.
Love is why we have hope.Anne Lamott, Almost Everything: Notes on Hope
The Day the World Ends Love is what opens eyes to a new day even by lunchtime you will metaphorically and literally be standing in a pile of poop and are cursing the thoughtless owner of some beloved dog who eyes that human with unconditional regard. Who is pawing and cajoling the beloved to just get up one more day. Even if it may be the End of the World today. Have you seen that internet meme of the rescued kangaroo hugging and clinging to its human saviour? Love, it seems, will always be there in the fray. Remember that couple leaping from the inferno tower, hand in hand, on 9/11? Or all those last phone messages left , every one saying I love you and Hug the kids. Hold each other on days when you are not beloved. When the one you loved is lost forever, has turned its back or gone on without you. On that bleakest of death knell days, go! Reach past the fire and flood threatening to engulf and obliterate, because even on the day that is the day that is the End of the World, you will open your eyes, stretch your hands and arms and arise the miracle of yourself who loves and can be loved in return and today may be that day. And that shall never be obliterated by false moves, mistakes, flood or wildfire burn. Copyright © Bee Smith 2020. All rights reserved.