Monday, December 30, 2013


The process of defining and naming New Year’s resolutions may perhaps be more important than follow through. We examine our girth, our temperament, our relationships, and identify wonts and ways we could change, consideration being the beginning of truth.

Anne Porter asks for authentication in “A Short Testament” from her book Living Things. I keep a copy hanging by the study door so I can be reminded as I go out to meet my world. Like everything that has a place, the paper has mostly become an unseen part of the wall. But it is there and, when I slow down, I see it and am reminded of its creed.

A Short Testament

Whatever harm I may have done
In all my life in all your wide creation
If I cannot repair it
I beg you to repair it,

And then there are all the wounded
The poor the deaf the lonely and the old
Whom I have roughly dismissed
As if I were not one of them,

Where I have wronged them by it
And cannot make amends
I ask you
To comfort them to overflowing,

And where there are lives I may have withered around me,
Or lives of strangers far or near
That I’ve destroyed in blind complicity,
And if I cannot find them
Or have no way to serve them,

Remember them, I beg you to remember them

When winter is over
And all your unimaginable promises
Burst into song on death’s bare branches.


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