The Light Continues by Linda Gregg
MARGINALIA • SKIP TO THE POEM
How long has it been? And wouldn’t you believe we are here again? I can’t count how many times I almost thought I wouldn’t make it. And yet here we are. Moving into a new space, settling in. Call it the changing of the guard. Call it blooming where I am planted. Call it beginning again, because it is another beginning, isn’t it. Call it life unfolding.
What a wild thing you are, I have been told before. Was it because I walk about with an animal inside my ribcage who howls about its wounds. Or was it because I have sunk my teeth into life, blood dripping down the corners of my mouth, knowing I can’t let go if I want to live. What a thing to be—wild—as if untamed, as if tempestuous. As if unbroken.
Tell me how have you been. What has kept you together, and have you survived the thing you thought would be the end of you. And have I told you—you are loved.
It’s a curious thing, light is. The way it filters through my days as if my life is gossamer, and not the deep murk I’ve known it to be. But hasn’t sunlight pierced through the ocean a thousand times before, hasn’t the moon? As if to say, you, yes, you, creature with no name swimming in the nothingness, the immeasurable—as if to say, you are seen my love, ah, but you are seen.
I know life has disintegrated a little bit at the edges, or probably a lot, for all of us. I know we are fraying. Some days it seems like all it takes is one thread unraveling and then that would be it. Let me tell you, we’re not done yet. Not just yet.
Oh, my dearest friend—what have you held onto like a lifeline? Because here is a poem. And here is my hand.
The Light Continues
Every evening, an hour before
the sun goes down, I walk toward
its light, wanting to be altered.
Always in quiet, the air still.
Walking up the straight empty road
and then back. When the sun
is gone, the light continues
high up in the sky for a while.
When I return, the moon is there.
Like a changing of the guard.
I don’t expect the light
to save me, but I do believe
in the ritual. I believe
I am being born a second time
in this very plain way.
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This poem appeared in In the Middle Distance: Poems by Linda Gregg, published by Graywolf Press, 2006. Shared here with profound gratitude.
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