The Given Message

by Christine Garren

this is the passion of leaving—the calm, inner—

there are no goodbyes, just freedom

I do not hear music other than the wind—I do not hear

God’s owl—

my life un-draws itself


dumb—the ash leaf is

my skeleton—

who is there—one finds no one, not God, not relative—and yet everywhere

the door, the stain of day, the barge-like movement of a cloud

Christine Garren is the author of the poetry collections Afterworld and Among the Monarchs. Her latest collection is The Piercing, published in 2006 in the Southern Messenger Poets series from Louisiana State University Press. A Los Angeles Times Book Award finalist and NEA Fellowship recipient, she was born in Philadelphia and has lived in Greensboro, North Carolina, since 1979.