not mine, unclaimed by me,
flowers beside her door
and devoted mother,
guardian near the steps,
life in perilous places
Grace in troubled times
Humbled in your presence
flowers and feather
Be careful what you ask for in your summoning,
for you summon carelessly yearlong,
careful what you ask for in thinnest dark tonight.
You prepared carefully, lovingly for this night
Altar handmade and sincere, you sit and breathe
moonlight incense focused on flickering light.
Careful what you ask for in thinnest dark tonight,
ask not to see the dead, those who cannot recall their plight
those with brass buttons & purple ribbons dangling from
bones, those who carry the instrument of their death in weary hands
you didn’t mean to summon the dead, the words slipped out
and their unrest will visit you. One by one, everyone
you have forgotten about.
Be careful of your face while summoning, measure your heart’s beating
Is your brow placid as a dawn lake, your heart loose and light
Does a smile walk upon your lips, gateway for thinnest night?
Ask for spirits to come if they wish. Ask them what they need,
give them what they ask or crave
receive what they leave and let them go.
One night they will not appear because your love
set them free.
Shed the veil and set your own tears free.
Little cauldron Three Legs, metal of earth shaped by human hands, symbol of maiden, mother, and crone filled with smoky, deep incense: I come to you imperfect, willing but unwise and always seeking. My hands are tied to yours, fingers burning. I ask you into my heart and my home, though my corners are dusty. No secret is unknown to you.
I pray for all the Little Mothers. My heart aches for one today, and I seek your counsel. Some Little Mothers suffer more than the others, it seems their constant charity, compassion, and kindness when they themselves have so little is repaid with more suffering. Perhaps I have much to learn from them, and should not question the choices they make, offering everything they have to everyone in need, saving nothing for themselves, still finding strength to go on.
Perhaps you are already with the Little Mothers, though they do not recognize you. Perhaps it is you that breathes courage and happiness into their ears while they sleep. It is you I see in their shy smiles. Perhaps it is we who need to examine our “suffering,” ask our hearts to empty so they may fill, open arms to all, not just the deserving.
Help me to remember these things always, long after the incense fades.