all saints

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all saints

we move too quickly to
divide the                    world
that’s a complete sentence
but it’s not the whole story

we move too quickly to
divide the world into saints
and sinners as though life
is a contest that demands
winners and losers so that
some can feel significant

we are all saints
our worthiness is not
created by comparison
even the distinction between
the living and the dead
doesn’t feel so definitive
when it comes to love

on all saints day we make
of our hearts thank-you notes
as grief and grace swirl
in a dance of gratitude
for those we hold dear
but can no longer hold

we read their names in the
presence of their absence
they are not here and
we do not know where
they have been taken
other than to trust that
they are not so far            away

the life that lies beyond
this life is not another world
but a dimension we can’t see
the clouded pane of glass
clears when we tell the stories
the veil gets thin when
we talk about belonging
about everyone belonging

you know the stories
we too easily forget to
remember
that’s re-member
as in putting ourselves
back together again

but memory and nostalgia
are not the same thing
anymore than wishing and
hoping are synonyms
remembering is not for
the faint of heart
love and heartache
go together because
some stories are
not easy to tell even
when told in love

still we call the names
of all saints and we tell
our stories of loss to say
that love is stronger than
death and disappointment
deeper than wounds or
weariness wider than
any breach any               breach

love bears all things
believes all things hopes
all things endures all
things love never ends

we are all saints
because of that love
that love will not let us go

we are all saints
because of who we are
not what we have done
or left undone

we are all saints
that’s the whole story

Peace,
Milton

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