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Yearly Meeting Poem
The poem below was created by Zenaida Peterson, inspired by queries submitted from our yearly meeting body and woven into a yearly meeting poem. Learn more about that process.
Am I a little Quaker child like my ancestors? Am I a different Quaker now? “Give the Police Departments to the Grandmothers” give the meetings to the young people I found empty spray cans on the side of the road dancing in a pearly reflection of the sky. And there beside it the brilliant color of yearning etched graffiti Black lives matter will they listen will we listen will I listen this time. Some of us have always lived and found Spirit in the shadows. Some of us are just learning the shadows exist. Much ugliness has been exposed shadows protect fear, partly. We want it carefully, guarded. We invite worry and loneliness to reside with us in darkness. Our fear is us and our anger is us and we fight light. We fight until community breaks in, entering to dispel, bring light, in spite of our fear. A different narrative is possible. Imagination is the key to make us new. Leaning out of the shadows I can see the light light that blinds and warms. In the shadows things are clearer and cooler the outline of a shape you didn’t know was there. Grounding your feet to the earth. In the shadow’s dark matter, wait to be illuminated, Distant spirit of newborn stars, Voices struggle to speak, truth. Faith is the bird that sings for the dawn, While it is still dark out. It is dark out, is it not? Wait… what’s that I see on the horizon…? All of Creation, has its rightful place on Mother Earth, with a story - glory, acknowledgement, apology; joyfully, lovingly, simply being, where one belongs. Being faithful means turning away from the shadows to the Light. resting in the shadow of a threshold full of pause. Hands all around lifting holding guiding suspending waiting pushing saying: you will know Listen in the doorway feel the fullness of liminal space welcome the uncertainty faithful is in this place too. Lighting a candle chases away darkness, but you must tend its flame steadfastly so the wind doesn’t blow it out. — Zenaida Peterson
Download a printable version (.pdf) of this poem for your refrigerator or bulletin board!