I look for you though you have no face and no name.
Not that you never had a face or a name,
I look for you in the pages of books and in
countless wrinkled and yellowed pictures.
I look for you in old newsreels that play in black and white.
I look for you in my dreams.
I look for you in boxes in the attic, and
in the stories that my grandmother would tell.
What did you think about when you lay awake at night?
What did you hold in your hand when you faced
your greatest fears?
A smooth stone, or a coin, or someone else’s hand?
When your waking hours were more terrifying
then the worst nightmare,
how was it that you smiled still?
How was it that I can feel you wink at me
as if to say that there is more to our spirit
than what we might imagine?
I look for beauty in hidden places.
I think I might find you there.
A tiny crack that goes unnoticed,
filled with the smallest of green
and the tiniest of flowers.
Things that most people step on as they hurry by.
Do most people know that moss has flowers in the summer?
That a whole world exists under a stone in their garden?
I look for you there, too.
You never imagined the things we see everyday.
We never imagine we might not miss them
if we were to stand where you stood.
Did you know when you sat in the shade
and sipped a drink that the things you remembered
Did you know I would come and look for those things
to give honor to your passing?
What did you do to pass the time
when you were bored?
Or did you have the luxury of boredom?
What did you do when you saw the one you loved
for the first time?
Who did you tell?
What did you do when your child was born?
What did you do when your father died?
What did you do when you felt lost or angry?
What did you think when they tried to take everything from you?
What did you think when you realized they couldn’t?
How did you look forward to the next day?
How did you not regret the past?
If I stretch hard enough
and hold my hand out
will you take it?
If I close my eyes and hold my breath
will I feel you reaching for me, too?
If I give you a name, will you forgive me
for not knowing the name you were called by?
I look for you in songs that touch my heart.
I look for you in colors that astound me.
I look for you in the shapes of clouds.
I look for you in the songs of birds,
you heard the same song
I look for you in whispers that the wind tells me.
I look for you in my children’s eyes.
I look for you in the mirror.
I look for you
in searching for you
I am searching for myself.