Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Guest Poet: Jeremy Dae Paden

The Angel of Lost Things
is not the saddest
of angels, there are times,
though, when it does
abandon all hope—
the misplaced letter,
the child who follows
the wrong pair of pants
in the holiday crowd,
the watch lost on the lawn,
taken off to play
football or Frisbee.
It knows where each
and every lost thing is
but it does not speak
these places. Instead
it keeps them close
to its heart, it worries
over them until found.
There are times,
like when an ailing
grandmother wraps
her opals and diamonds
in toilet paper taken
from a McDonald’s
restroom and in her
dementia she cannot
remember if the bundle
was left on the tray
or placed in her baggage,
when the angel knows
but cannot reach through
the haze to nudge
the faulty memory.
It understands
its sacred duty.
That all things lost
should be watched over,
that nothing—even
the books and photos
lost to fire, to mold,
the stuffed bears left
in leaf piles and taken
to landfills—are beyond
being found, recovered.
But there are times when
the levee breaks, the rivers
rise and the mud and silt
of five generations,
all the pain displaced
throughout centuries,
covers everything with loss.
Times when it would rather
be the angel of found things,
the angel that gathers
unto itself minds
and causes and children
and hearts and heirlooms,
the angel that mends
and heals and rejoices,
that leads the congregation
down the dusty road,
singing and dancing
before the altar found.
              ~~Jeremy Dae Paden

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