Power of Presence

(Presence—simple, spontaneous, selfless. It’s where life is affirmed and healing waters flow.)

Lying on my bed,
head propped with pillows,
reading Graham Greene’s
The Heart of the Matter
for the third time, I hear
the creaking door slowly open.
She enters, gives me
just a wisp of a smile,
brushes the hair back
from her eyes, and
climbs upon my chest,
all 22 months and 30 pounds
of her. She lies there, silent and
unmoving, face directed skyward,
fists encircling the index fingers
of hands happy to provide
a mooring for this welcome,
though unexpected, guest.
After five minutes, she
opts for another mission,
climbs down, pauses
long enough for her signature,
backward wave, then exits,
leaving a grandchild’s gift
of mustard seed planted
in the fallow garden
of a wizened, old soul.

“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest garden plant and becomes a tree, so that the wild birds come and nest in its branches.” ~ Matthew 13:31-32 (NET)

Poem © 2007 Dennis Ference

10 thoughts on “Power of Presence

  1. You’ve taken something so natural, such a small gesture, an unthinking event from a child and turned it into a beautiful poem. I often wonder, although it is hard to believe, if we gave the same simple moments of meaning to our parents and grand parents. I guess we must have done. Thank you Den for sharing this.

    • Thanks so much for sharing your thought. I never asked myself that question. I do know that that brief moment has remained with me for over six years and my chest still swells when I think of it (which is happening right now as I remember and reply to your comment). –Dennis

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