Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Poem

Woman Holding A Balance

Between dark and light,
Between this world and the next,
Between maidenhood and motherhood
She pauses, held in balance
Like the balance she holds.

Her focus not the gold or
The weighing, but the justice
Of her scales, settling to their still
Point in a steady hand,
And she herself unadorned,
A lily that needs no gilding
But the points of light that lie
On her veil like jewels in a crown.

If she raised her eyes, she would see
This luminous beauty, drop the scales,
And, like a blushing Eve, break
The balance and forsake
The innocence of her task,
But she does not.

If she turned, she would see
The Last Judgment, saints and sinners,
Weighed in the final balance, and,
Called to think on ultimate things,
Lose this moment –
But she does not.

Trained on the object, undistracted,
Patient while the instrument swings
To its center and is still, she turns
This little task to prayer - if mindfulness is
Prayer – to an exercise of love – if it is love
To be attentive to the thing at hand.

Marilyn Chandler McEntyre
American poet/author

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