Breathe Deeply the Wonder, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

Breathe Deeply the Wonder


Jennifer Angelina Petro



Everything holds a cache of light.

You can see it, of course, in the eyes

And hear it in the singing voice,

At times it drips from the fingers

When the touch is one of mercy.


When we die—when every living thing

Dies—that planted light releases

Into the air, the sky—it lifts, like

A firefly from the field, and travels

God knows where.


If we could see the light going forth

From each thing that dies—each person,

Animal, flower, insect, mite, microorganism—

It would look like a constant carnival—

A festival of lanterns, a galaxy of fireflies—


Every second of every day—each and every moment—

Things die all around us—little, luminous lights rise

From everywhere—bushes, trees, porches,

Sidewalks, hospitals, homes—everywhere light—

Light rising, like a million tiny mornings,

Light diving, like melting snow, back into the earth,

Light smiling at the sudden spiral into freedom–

Ascensions bloom all around us, dartling like

So many intimate flames—


If we could see—and we can if we try—

We would understand we walk through flocks of stars,

And our steps should be conscious and deliberate—and yet as of a child’s–

We live and move in light whirling through branches

And windows, gardens, and streets—


And one day, your light—my light—

Will join the celebration—and someone will marvel

At light’s agreement with the darkness, pray for the illumination,

And breathe deeply the wonder.






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