Les trésors no. 1

It would have been elegant to slide all the pearls onto a string
and clasp the string with a word like redemption or ordination or resolution
and wear the stories on the wrist, not very close to the heart
but surely very good stories, and very vogue, as pearls are

Instead, the shore led south. With a bucket of oysters
and little recollection of plans buried somewhere up north,
my vision cleared, pulse steadied at last in the arteries
of a bayou song in a Texas river in the Arabian sea.

And I might have racked it up to seasons, tides, and constellations
but found I couldn’t map the heavens, let alone the dust
Wasted ink, threw words adrift, because I thought at least
I could write my own tale, but it was shallow and long against short and deep

A bucket of oysters; little, grey. Grey like the corrugated sleeve
around a steaming cup of chai on a fresh cotton summer morning
Sugar and cream, a hammock, a porch, one fine day
a jaunt up the road, a few dollars, little oysters, but only oysters, I thought

Until one day the phone rang and it was true; you called
and I drove and we drove and we ironed it out over an hour of road
and a mile of sunset. We don’t drive this far merely for sugared coldness
but I’d drive this far for pearls in oysters, and something as sweet as you

A bucket of oysters, closed tight. Tight like a window seat inbound from Houston
from which I finally asked, over Sprite Zero, whether you were from there or here
and it didn’t matter because you were an instrument, divinely appointed
to hold a lantern to these bloodshot eyes and point to the road

(And as capital lights gleamed beneath the aircraft, you prayed
and staggering light broke into the vessel. Should anyone ever inquire
whether I believe in coincidences, it would be a resounding no
but I do believe, and how, in what is ordained, what is written)

A bucket of oysters, thrown together. Thrown together as we were
for a moment or twenty-two, fragments of something different than we thought,
But good. Unquestionably good. If not a pearl, a pearlescent casualty of timing
Brevity was never my strength, but some say it’s a virtue

I count days that never pass, but when I stop counting there are so few left
and I find myself boxing up everything from camera batteries to treasured ragged edges
of places I’ve been and places I am. Some destined for the 213, others destined
for the southern tip of broken paradise, like I am in the morning

All these pearls, all these oysters. Night falls and I see that a pearl is not a pearl
in spite of the oyster, but because of it. Tomorrow, I will still be the latter, plain,
attempting to cultivate the former, glorious. The precious ordinary houses the precious unseen
and this bucket of oysters is heavy with the weight of pearls, the weight of grace.

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5 thoughts on “Les trésors no. 1

  1. Thanks Noelle… I especially liked the line: “Brevity was never my strength, but some say it’s a virtue” I live at that address. One more thing from the beattitudes: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Because you have been redeemed by the precious blood of the Lamb of God… and because your heart is right with Him, you see His hand at work in places and through circumstances that others would miss… or call “coincidence.” It is the Hand of providence, causing all things to work together according to His purposes & plans, and the counsel of His will (Eph. 1:11b). What a comfort and encouragement it is to this sometimes weary, pilgrim soul to have my King reveal Himself to me in the mundane. Indeed, He is my Refuge and my Strength; A very present help in my time of trouble, trial, headache, heartache, heartbreak, doubt or denial… sending appropriate and well-time help to my heart & soul, just when I need it.

    “Truly my soul silently waits for God; From Him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved… He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength and my refuge, is in God.” (Psalm 62;1-2, 6-7)

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