Tradition Three

Tradition Three
Joseph Anthony Petro


In the space created by gathering together
Tangled bundles of nerves loosen into usable threads of stories
Whose intricate plots become the fabric of hope;
Thunderous pasts and futures soften into the holy silence of here and now;
Knots of shame and sorrow unravel first into heaps of relief
And then are braided by wisdom into lifelines for others to grab hold of;
Springs of tension and rage wind down into shock absorbers
For the carriage of the heart;
Shells of human beings break open into birds of freedom;
Ghosts shimmer back into their bodies and bones reassemble
Taking on the flesh of experience and rise from the dead;
Dissonant chords of not knowing what to do
Resolve into melodies of mistakes and laughter;
The stormy seas of self-condemnation calm into self-acceptance
As we give ourselves over to the hands of another;
And no one has to step out onto the waves to prove anything
To anybody, and everyone in the space created
Stays in the boat and rows, while love dances on the water
Gathering us together in the sun-drenched wings
Of mutual aid.