The Cross She Bore, The Wings She Wore

As she moved

onward

through every single winter –

the hard ones, the long ones –

the skins on her forehead grew valleys

so deep to capture

and treasure the sunshine

for the dark days

of which there were many.

Then, as she still moved

through the snow and the broken lands –

forward always –

her shoulders bowed toward the earth

more and more humbly

to carry the burden

of many.

And on that spring day

when it was time for her to leave, finally,

she noticed that

where there used to be pains and pulls and

burdens on her shoulders

all of the days,

all that remained

where two wings,

wide and strong,

to carry her upward –

and upward only –

so lightly.