Dear heart: a “Light” poem by Mara Faulkner

Welcome to Sunday Morning Lyricality, currently featuring “Light” poems by central Minnesota writers.

This is a poem that aims straight for the heart. It reminds us that while life is challenging and often terrifying, it is also pungent with beauty. Especially in this strange time of global pandemic, there are multiple calls on our heart. Fear, despair, excitement, anger, hope . . . something will woo us into its embrace.

The choice is ours to make. When instinctual fear courses through our veins, our adrenaline kicks in. We might play dead. We might flee or attack with violence. Or, we could listen to the voice of love calling us to muster the rarest kind of courage. We could, despite our fears, adventure into the flickering light, reawaken our senses, and experience the enchantment, the iridescent delight of living

Tracy Rittmueller

Dear heart,
Mara Faulkner

There where you lie curled in a thicket of daisies 
having learned the first lessons of life
after love—fear and camouflage—
come out now into the flickering light,
the pungency of clover and wild rose.
Walk lightly through tall prairie grasses,
big and little bluestem,
penstemon and yarrow.

Come out into the open field
where the yellow finch rocks
on a black-eyed susan,
in danger
but singing,


Mara Faulkner, OSB is retired Associate Professor of English at the College of St. Benedict and now teaches writing workshops at The Spirituality Center of Saint Benedict’s Monastery, where she lives. She is the author of the poetry collection Still Birth, and the academic books Protest and Possibility in the Writing of Tillie Olsen and Born of Common Hungers: Benedictine Women in Search of Connections. Her memoir Going Blind (Suny Press) was a 2010 Minnesota Book Award Finalist.

“Dear Heart,” was first published in Still Birth, Finishing Line Press, 2013. Used with permission of the author. 

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