Ave Maris Stella

And so it's down to this:
from my mother I'd wanted
a sense of place in the world –
but this she couldn't give me,
never finding her own.

Now she's dead, I see
how what she gave me was
a 'bridged uncertainty',
an inchoate knowledge of
that complex emptiness

where arrival is departure,
(quantum meta-physics!)
the world of paradox
where, learning to be empty,
we discover fullness.

I cannot say how far
my mother finally got
along the swaying rope bridge
linking earth and sky
above the foaming rapids.

In one sense she was always
there – for even as her
frail and weary flesh
wavered each step across
the terrifying void

her soul shone, beckoning.
My mother's gift and challenge:
the journey I must complete,
that inner mystical union,
the arrival at my birth.

And so she's with me now.
Never an earthly guide,
yet now the stella polaris
which she sought herself
and so at last becomes.

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