Ann Keiffer

In Which I Learn What My Silver Years Will Require

From out of the darkness,
secret and formative,
mysterious and churning,
came hurtling a word–
a silver-spear of a word.
And it pierced me through.
I knew, from then on,
everything in my life
would turn on this word.
And the word was:

Three times before
when words struck me
with force and purpose
like this,
I marked the words
in inner and outer life
by having the word
stamped deep
into its own silver bracelet,
bracelets I wear day and night,
claiming the words to myself,
even as they claimed me.

Three epochal bracelets
already stacked together.
The fourth came by post.
I opened the package,
slid the bracelet
on my wrist…
this could not be.
The new bracelet was different,
lighter weight, slightly larger,
encompassing the other three,
sliding up and down freely
over top of them,
not what I intended,
not what I asked for,
not the way it was
supposed to be.

A familiar fierceness
began to gather in me,
spinning up a storm of
This is not right.
This has to be fixed.
I cannot accept this.

But then a sudden knowing…
This simple bracelet,
not what I wanted.
sliding up and down,
continually out of order,
imperfect, was perfect,
a day-and-night reminder
what the silver years
would require of me.
Practice choosing what is.
In other words,

Ann Keiffer
December, 2015

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About Ann

I am interested in the strange beauty of brokenness, in transforming possibility in difficult times, in how we heal even when we can’t get better, in the alchemy of surrender, in the interplay of light and shadow, in the bounty of everyday wonders, in the gift of laughter…and writing about it, all and everything.

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