Through Mercy’s Pane

Hand soft upon the window
Reaching out to touch the time just past

New York City school yards
In the cold spring
Winds eddy between the buildings
Pushing the laughter and unrestrained excess of recess
Young girls speak their hidden language with furtive fleeting looks
Eyes reveal their hidden whispers
The boys, oblivious and parading
Do what only boys could understand, care to understand

Teachers seize an uninterrupted moment
A passing bit of quiet in the smoky haze
As the day drags on
A respite before they all return

She traces simple lines and arcs in the cold spring frost
On Mercy’s pane
Watching the time just pass

“Yahweh God shaped man from the soil of the earth
And blew the breath of life into his nostrils
And man became a living being”

That breath passes from generation to generation
A chain of life connecting grandmothers, mothers, and daughters
The breath of God flowing
So wondrous

Tears soft upon her cheek
For reasons she does not yet know

Only a child
Someone’s daughter
Soon now a mother
A new link in that chain
Watching her yesterday on the playground
Not yet able to imagine what is lost or what lays ahead
Or the gentle mercy she will need

June 26, 2001