Ann Keiffer

Things Fall Away

As far back as I can
remember, I have
carried in my mind,
a painted image
from a book or story:
Pioneers pushing West
across the endless prairie
with their stumbling oxen
and hunch-shouldered
Conestoga wagons.
Weary stragglers
abandoning their
household necessities
beside the dusty trail—
themselves of posessions
they had treasured,
in order to move on.

In the long-traveling
of a lifetime, it seems
to me to be the same.
Things fall away,
want to fall away,
need to fall away
and be left by the
side of the road.
Time and age
work at minus sums,
subtracting all by which
I once knew myself:
Things fall away.
They want to fall away
To try to hold them
is to suffer;
to let them go
is to suffer.
And yet that seems
to be Life’s clear
direction, Simplify.
Let go of everything
that isn’t necessary:
the dead things,
done things,
life- and time-
killing things,
worn-out roles,
frayed opinions,
jealous competition,
hardened postures,
my threadbare innocence,
my owned-ness,
all claims on soundness
and the energies and
appetites of youth.

Can I turn,
full flower-faced,
to the light?
Can I wait,
without eyes,
in the dark?
Can I lean in and
listen to the silence?
Things that need to fall away
may nudge my awareness,
shadow-show themselves,
whisper, “Let me go,
let me fall away.”

Let them.
Let them fall way,
let them all fall,
fall away,
each letting go,
each falling away
unraveling me
a little more,
unweaving me
toward simplicity,
toward essence,
the secret,
resilient core.

Ann Keiffer
June, 2014


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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