And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been.
—Rainer Maria Rilke
Things that have never been:
This new year stretching long before us,
bright and unshadowed.
This breath, and the next and the next.
This awaited, hoped-for blessing
that will come with a great cry,
a new being entering the world.
This celebration, that death,
this laugh, that heartfelt tear,
a thousand untouched moments
we cannot anticipate and don’t
even as we walk the same path
to the river or the blocks to the cemetery,
dogs tugging on leashes, the errands
that seem the same, the hellos and
goodbyes to our familiars—
we are given the new every day
if we put on spectacles of surprise,
tuck wonder into our heart pockets,
allow awe to explode far more often
We believe in this time given us,
no guarantee of how much
or how little, every fresh flash,
each day’s awakening, the surprise
of walking by a creamy winter rose—
this twinkling second, so precious,
this thankful breath, refreshed
by another and another, this
opportunity to sing the tune
not again but, with feeling,
for Lauren and Gerald and Henry