Photo by Emily Lau

Photo by Emily Lau

Suffering can start like a small fissure
deep in the core of a vast glacier.
A secret weakness,
under layers of silt and snow,
concealed beneath a monolithic front of ice.
One might never notice the crevasse
silently weeping
into the endless saline sea.

For not all suffering is a pyroclastic flow,
dramatically tumbling down the sides of a volcano,
enveloping all in its wake.
It’s not always an earthquake,
suddenly wrenching apart the ground,
wreaking destruction for miles around.

Sometimes it’s
a quiet, constant kind of pain,
wearing away on the inside,
eroding my will to conceal it.

But I hold on for the coming winter,
pleading for the snow.

I hold on as the sun comes out,
baring down with fiery intensity,
and the crevasse,
which in springtime seeped,
now hemorrhages in high summer.

Why must He wear me thin,
break me apart,
and shatter me?

Did He lie when He said
He loved me?

But as the heat unlocks
the crystal lattice,
I realize just how tired I am
of the cold.
For ages, I’ve been descending
down the sloped side of the mountain,
clinging to crumbling boulders
and dirty gravel.

But no longer.

The sun is both destroyer,
and transformer,
bringing suffering
so that I may find freedom.

For only when a glacier weeps
can the sun begin to lift it skyward.