In my lifetime I have written poetry for a number of reasons. Looking back through a notebook-full of them spanning 50-some years I realize I’ve spontaneously used verse as a release –rhythmic expressions arising from otherwise jumbled circumstances.
The poem below came to me in a tall forest overlooking Lake Tahoe. My children were still young and I was struggling to cope with what I saw as my historic failure in bringing us all to a place of safety and peaceful ordinariness. I offer it as a touchstone to women who find themselves aching with such longings. My languid tomorrows have passed; my children all fly in the light.
Quietly, joyfully, I am indeed soaring like love on gold wings!
I saw with my heart
In a summertime dream
Something beautiful, awesome and pure:
Two eagles, mid-air
Above a clear lake
Flying wingtips together and sure.
Dipping low, soaring high
With effortless skill
They blended with rapturous ease.
Like love on gold wings
They flew in the light
Just skimming the loftiest trees.
Can something so wild,
So fluid and free,
Be a part of this life here below?
Must we watch with our hearts
Yet be tethered, in fact—
Only agony-ecstasy know?
Soaring up to the Light
Our spirits are loosed—
All encumbrance of circumstance gone.
High gliding and chaste,
Suspended and free,
Our flight is rapturously long.
Oh God, make a nest
In the loftiest trees
For these eagle-like spirits of ours.
No more can we rest
Far down on the earth
So filled with its languid tomorrows.
—Patricia Henderson Struntz, 1982