one heart at a time

Who were we gathered tonight?
Your dancing hands and perfect wrinkle lines
from years impish smiles,

his whole-face-grin lighting
grey eyes from within,

a mother, observing the roomful,
one ear upstairs where her two-year-old
plays with bigger kids (including the two I raise),

my niece, her teeth covered in braces,
half woman, half child,
taller than almost all the women in her family,
easily blushing for reasons of her own hopes,
innocent and full of wisdom
(Lord, let her stay so determined
that kindness should never be a fad,
but a life),

and a cast of other familiar friends
all determined to change the world
from a place of discord to a land of peace.
We were/are matter in human form,
looking out from inside/a soul beside,
each a beautiful mystery, even to ourselves.

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