By Grace Aheron
I address the crowds within me:
Rustling robes of people I know only from dreams,
Childhood friends with small hands,
One who left his body behind.
When I take steps in this world,
They slosh within me.
Sometimes, a bit of my mother
When I take a turn
The heart of a beloved
Sails forth through a cage of ribs
When I raise my arms in praise.
Let’s say it all began with an 8 year old trying to find help.
Let’s say good intentions mean a lot until the phone rings in the middle of the night
and you’ll never sleep the same again.
Let’s say it ends with our grandmothers, hemming their skirts, beginning to run.
Sometimes I want to say: if you’re not here for the sublime, get the fuck out.
But we who dream for the oceans when we’re standing in a kiddie pool,
must continue to whisper through the walls:
You still here?
Yes, still here.
I can feel the world asking me:
Do you see this, woman?
And me back:
Do you see this woman?
The weeping comes from somewhere I may never be,
but today the moon feels strong,
and I am bare-toed in fresh grass,
and we who are here are many.
Grace Aheron is a daughter, poet, and gardener who hails from Roanoke, Virginia. She lives on 8 acres of land in an intentional community in the vicarage of a rural Episcopal Church in Charlottesville, Virginia where she and her community grow food, offer retreats, and provide hospitality for travelers and friends. Grace helps steward the spiritual growth of middle school, high school, and University of Virginia students at St. Paul’s Memorial Church as their youth group and campus ministry coordinator.