Light – Bernadette Miller

I want to write of the light

but I do not know
whether words can illuminate
the way it hangs
upon branches and bird wings
and broken things
returning beings to beauty.

Can words spin substance
from sunshine and decay?

Can words cajole
celebration from night-weary

Can words warm surfaces
of stones and sorrows?

Can words reveal richness
in mundane
and battered

I do not know.

But if we would write
a tomorrow
which is wider than wounds
we have worn,
we might wield words
like benedictions
and remember
within brokenness,
within endings,
and beauty
within all things.


Ah, a poem that speaks to my love of words, my continuous search to find words to express all that I long to say.

The poet asks us if words can mend the brokenness and sorrows, bring forward the richness and celebrations, illuminate beauty. I do not know, she answers.

One could argue that words are just words and have no power. But that has not been my experience. In my world, words can save you, slay you (in the best sense), can show you another world. Especially when they are poems where words can move like small birds, taking shape on the page and in our minds and hearts.

Her last stanza speaks of the possibilities within words: a tomorrow wider than wounds, benedictions, blessings within brokenness, beginnings within endings, and most of all, beauty within all things.

This is what I see and hear in the poems that fall into my heart, the creation of beauty in a battered and weary world. Light for us all.