From Under the Air

 by Bethany Lee

Water, Shore, and Sky

When you weep
and grow weary
of the pain
in this world you made

and tire of the weight
of all who cry out
and gasp at the ways
that fear unsettles the souls
uproots those planted in you
tosses them to the winds in terror

Where do you take refuge?

Do you sink into the deepest pool?
Find your way along the rising thread
to the heat at the center
the swirling heart that binds us
all in place?
Do you let yourself
be held by the gravity?

Or do you find a home
among the leaping ones?
The rays who bound
from sea to sky
The orca launching high
from under the air?

Yet even there is no escape from grief
Witness the mother who carried
her lifeless calf
for seventeen days


A howling protest
or proof of the strength
of mothers who have the will
to carry loss
far beyond a heart’s bearing

You, Mother of us all
how long
have you been carrying us on your fin?
Do you, too, grow thin
waiting for resurrection?

Bethany Lee
Bethany Lee, author of The Breath Between and Etude for Belonging from Fernwood Press, lives in Lafayette, OR, at the edge of the woods. Her writing is inspired by the space at the edge—her experiences as a hospice harpist, a year spent traveling at sea, and the deep silence of her Quaker practice.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.