Hope

There is no end to hope.

You taught me that,
when we sat beneath the trees
in a park illuminated
by floating halos and the voices
of the void between,
responsible only for the means,
for the fragments of music
melting through our words
meant not to honour or adorn
but serve the secret fire,
to burn like an ancient forge
and not forget
that there is no darkness
which can conquer light;
to sacrifice with courage
and cry our hearts
in the dull, red sky;
finally to show mercy
and fall silent when faced
with ultimate temptation.

Here is the myth, you said,
hopeful that it might live again
in the secret found and lost
by a passing reader who,
for a moment,
turns the mind back
to what it meant:
our journey through night
on the famished road,
hard and unforgiving
and the fellowship
on a fool’s errand
to the far side of expectation,
everything lost and – in that –
a happy accident that ends,
for an age, this evil.

No miracles here,
just simple hope for
the kindness I once saw
light the mountaintops themselves
on fire
and us, still together,
stretched far beyond
our own endurance,
in dreadful recognition
that we are

finally in a state of grace.

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