that year I finally got

a place by myself

and a New Yorker subscription

was a year I thought

pragmatism in love

isn’t tragic and I might

want to have a child

and that being wild

is contextual


I knew it first as a lullaby

to which I’d drift into dreams

at night, dreams, later, for a life

hopeful, adventurous

relevant and comforting

lyrics, melancholy melody

for a family always

on the move, it seemed

I know it now as a hymn

to which you make sense

of each step, your life

though you’ve been walking

the shores and beaches of

the same lake for the past

fifteen years, you collect your

fellow pilgrims, wooden, stiff

awaiting the same awakening

over Jordan, over home

I see my father


blessed Sunday chaos

getting the preacher’s

whole family to church

not on time, much earlier

honking instead of bells

mom running in her dress

then turning around once more

to fetch snacks for those

who missed breakfast

testing the preacher’s

virtue of patience

he’ll repent later

the benches, balcony

pulpit, communion table

a familiar playground

Say hello to…

Organise the song-books

smiling, greeting

part of the welcoming act

a host in the holy place

by default

then the main act

prayers, hymns, peace

what we came for

afterwards, waiting

for the last, eager faithful

on the curb with a pack

of sunflower seeds

from the corner store

Daddy let’s go!

he’ll just get a book

from his office

this time the whole family

already in the car

this time the preacher testing us

we’ll repent later

it’s time to host lunch


to the right to the left

everything moved as if sacred

music of the church bells

didn’t leave space in the air

for the unconverted

leaf, feather, spring fluff

a charismatic choir

swinging into belief

catching onto hope

announced

reverberating

with transcendence


last week I was teaching

about the moral status of animals

and why some may want to deny it

no soul, no ‘ratio’, no language

fervent discussion in class

questioning one’s attitudes

the same week, serendipitously

I received one of the most

valuable gifts for a teacher -

a real life anecdote

a relevant experience to move

imagination, build empathy

take debate outside the text

It was the bees who extended

their grace beyond already saving

our planet and who made a home

a delicate, intricate construction

under my kitchen chair

the blooming lilacs and the wide

open window must…


I crashed.

because I was tired

because I was doubtful

insecure

confused

hurt

and you get the idea

it took a bunch of other

insecure

confused

hurt

human beings who pulled

me back — not on the track,

life is too complex to make it into a linear journey

they pulled me back into the process of seeing them — seeing beyond my lies that “no one understands”

it is ok, dear.

now I know for myself that pain pulls us within. makes us blind.

you are ok, dear.

this is why there are more of us.


Now that I live alone I seem to have acquired

a taste for talking to myself

kindly, colourfully, whenever the need arises

I also began to kiss each new leaf popping

to share the oxygen within these square meters

calling it baby boo

while drinking coffee each morning

I smile at the progression of spring

sighing loudly with awe and excitement

reminiscent of my aunts I used to judge

I read books about local architecture

play the piano in between teaching online

and if all these habits pull me over to

the strange side, it is self-consciously done

interacting with my thoughts I can actually hear

and with my small world, with each sign of life

honestly, what else was this pandemic for

if not for that


a dreamer’s ode to the encountered long awaited dream would probably be something cheesy like this —

I waited for you my whole life though I did not know your accurate shape or size or whether you were at all a thing I could touch smell breathe and make my daily bread

in the waiting I was looking and while looking I have found

fulfillments of similar taste

because what else

was I to do in the pursuit

but let’s not dismiss them so quickly as mistakes

after all they led me here

to you — to the dream that…


another season

sinusoid

of this fleeting snowflake

special

like all the rest soaring

slowly

between gushes of wind

towards the earth

strong

soft

will melt

now it’s dancing still

still

still


snow falls gently

behind my back

behind the glass

divide between my

warm flesh and

that which melting

on my palm

on my tongue

makes me fully

alive

Sonia Blank

in between the wonder and the welcome

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