Rebecca K. Reynolds

Honest Company for the Journey

June 15

God, give me the humility

to tend from a small place—

to offer worn, indelicate hands—

to the labor of delivery.

If you show me a curl of hair

to turn from a tormented forehead,

make my fingers’ touch two seconds of respite—

even when there is no prospect

of being known, seen, or remembered—

though my touch breaks off from my person

and I begin and end this whole life

invisible as the wind that washes over

the delusions of a fever,

always give me the strength

to hold one more broken human

in these two human arms.

Though you are silent—

though you give me cold proofs while

refusing to show me

how you smell in the morning

and how you sound when you sing over the valleys—

though I am angry at the prospect

of years upon years of faith without sight when you have made me carry sentience and impulse—

though some of these humans you have made radiate

and I am tempted to kneel before them—

so that I might stare into the whole universe of two close eyes—

though you hide from me and test me—

at least make me brave enough

and kind enough

to bear the electric storm

of a heart that is not mine

to own.

For all you have not given me,

do this one thing.

I implore you.

Let kindness be my widow’s oil.

Open my fist grip (or dash the ribs of my chest)

if this great and holy novel you are writing

needs a Peggotty.

So be it.

Just give me the character to roll up the sleeves of an old work dress

and sink my hands in the water

to quietly wash one more set of dishes,

even when I can hear

the music of the ball next door.

When I feel faint from the hunger

of this faith you require—

when my knees and fingers shake while

looking through the bakery glass—

when I must whisper my own name

to remember what it sounds like—

when the hair I cut off

to give away leaves me nothing but

an old fool who knows the wrong books,

then take this fool’s skin and fill it

with new wine so that

when you turn me up

to the lips of the perishing,

their hearts will be made glad.


 “Man in a Room” by Rembrandt