Charles Swanson

"PARTING IS ALL WE KNOW OF HEAVEN"
(Emily Dickinson)

What do I know—of heaven?
What more than a city
foursquare and gold, each gate
a gem? A river smooth

flowing by fruiting trees,
for every season,
every nation. The travel
toward blessings.

What do I know? I know
with every day
more certain, the whisper
the stillness saying

there is a bright place, kind
in its brightness, kind.
Periwinkle weaves welcome,
plays God's eyes

ubiquitous, and yet he is one,
and he is everywhere,
and he is a lamb white, at rest,
and this is in my heart.

This is not a parting, not
a wrenching, a rending,
not a wasteland or a desert,
surely not a hell.

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