Wednesday, May 27, 2015


photoart: ralph murre

by Elizabeth Rosner

sometimes I am Jacob and
sometimes I am the angel and
always I am wrestling
with God or with the idea
of God or with the idea
of myself wrestling with God

(there is always a risk
in the naming of
things in the naming
of oneself)

the stones in my pockets
weighing me down
are also holding me
angels have no pockets and therefore can float

while I, who resist floating,
watch them rise with
something like envy and
something like rage

who can float in a time
like this, when the past
is still close enough
to touch and the sounds
of weeping linger so

isn’t it our grief that makes us real
makes us dimensional,
heavy on the earth?

I think of my grandmother’s
sweet hand, the weight
of it as she stroked my hair
to say good-bye, giving me
comfort because she was
the one leaving,

and her hand rinsed
me like water,
like falling water

~ first published in Many Mountains Moving
and subsequently, in the author's collection,
GRAVITY (Atelier 26 Books)