I shall place you in the cleft of a rock and shield you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I shall take my hand away, and you will see my backside, but my face will not be seen.—Exodus 33
Was Moses aggrieved to be shoved into a cleft
and made to wait until you had passed by?
I, too, see your glory in splinters—
the meadowlark’s early song out of yellow feathers,
the ferocity of wind circling this valley,
alpenglow transforming the dusky mountains.
But now, shut away from family and friends,
I long to see the big picture, to know
how to save these lessons for the time
when this has passed, to preserve
the essence of love honed in heartbreak,
of songs salted with tears,
of companionship with a single other
tenderized by time together;
how to hold the wonder and terror
of unknowing—to be in this life
whose end I cannot see, to be willing
to lose it, only to find it
in the wake of something bigger,
silently beckoning me to follow.