New People Came This Time

Geoffrey Herbert

New ­People came this time, and we shared
our stories, the familiar truths, about
shock and healing and being glad that at last
our children can say who they are,
and we know them now, love them more.

Funny stories and good news ripple around,
and smiles about lesbigay ways, and jokes,
against ourselves, taking the masks off
to show the same donkey faces underneath.
A communion of laughter.

And several dawns once more lit up among us,
the sharpness of beginning sight,
a slower sunrise over the years,
other eye-openings—painful or proud—all good.
A communion of wisdom.

But this time—

we nearly all wept:
wept with the blinding new hurts,
winced with what we thought
had been healed—old wounds, waiting.
We put the tissue box in the ­middle
and passed it round.
A communion of tears.

Cover of Becoming: A Spiritual Guide for Navigating Adulthood