Empty Hands

Here I kneel in silence once again,

Hands empty and turned upward.

Everything I held in the broken cup

Of my palms has been taken away.

Scars and paint marks are scattered

Over my weathered and peeling skin.

The grooves on my palms map out

The tortuous quests of the past —

My hands once gripped life’s throat,

Threatening it to yield to my wishes;

My fists once pounded on the world

With an insatiable need for dominion.

Alas, like a gust of wind, a force swept

Away everything within my tight grasp,

Leaving my gaping palms with nothing

But emptiness and weightlessness.

Just as the forests shed in the fall,

Folding into the earth to be born again;

Or the aged give up the dense body,

Returning to the elements of infancy,

I have learned to let go of everything

I have ever held against my bones

To cradle that primordial emptiness

Between my hands, ready to receive.

© nightdawnday
p.s. Leave a comment if this resonated with you. I love to hear your stories!

Musings: This is a poem about a very deep loss. As Mary Oliver said, the other side of the river of loss is salvation. When we let go of the world’s weight and return to our original emptiness and innocence, we begin to allow a greater fullness to enter our hearts.

4 responses to “Empty Hands”

  1. The cycle of arising, integrating, dissolving, disintegration is endless. The Dark Night of the Soul is as necessary as the windfall fruit. Decay, rest, germ, grow, fruit. Awareness is freedom.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Powerful poem! Loved reading it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Powerful images.
    You capture human imperfection with humility.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautifully raw and real!

    Liked by 1 person

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