The Search

The Search

Beloved, all day I searched for you,
pursuing your image in mountains,
rivers, caves and clouds,
seeing but not seeing you
in wild and windswept places,
on open roads and deep city streets.

Beloved, I listened for your voice
in falling rain and the sound of birds,
hearing, yet not hearing you in children's laughter.
I followed your footsteps through a desert.
I called you by all the names of love I knew.
Recklessly, I squandered my heart
for a glimpse of you in a familiar face;
but even there you remained hidden.

Beloved, all day I sought you,
and you eluded me.
In my hunger I sifted through prayers,
pressing words and phrases on my tongue
for some taste of your presence.
Where were you?

By the close of the day I had not found you.
I'd traveled to the edge of expectation and was tired.
My voice was stilled, my hunger self-consumed.
In that hour of calm between light and dark,
I entered a silence and rested.
And you came to me!

Lovelier than loveliness,
finer than fine,
you came with the suddenness of light
and the swiftness of laughter,
surprising me to tears
with the sound of my name.
(Why did I think you had left me?)
Then gently you led me to the garden
and we walked in the cool of the evening
as we did those other times.

Joy Cowley