Today from the rainy garden
we brought nasturtiums and sunflowers
and laid them in garlands
before the empty chair.
Together we knelt and prayed
and sang from full throats
in the dark and quiet room
as the light fell around the chair.
The eyes in the face in the picture
resting on cushions on the chair
were bright and loving and noble
gazing into the darkness of the singing room.
Leaving the room and entering the morning
we knew the daylight would carry us
through the weeping trees and streets
back in the evening to the feet of the chair.
We began and ended before the empty chair
laying flowers the master's feet
would never touch;
nor his hand brush the hair back from our faces.
In the morning we ate the fruit
that we laid there the day before,
in the quiet winter kitchen
filling with quiet white light.
Feel us swaying, singing, crying
to the beat of the drum
and the chime of shaken bells -
feel us shaking in the light of the dark air.
See us holding each other close,
hungry for love at the foot of the chair
leaving gifts with the emptiness there
bowed to the ground in the arms of the air.
In bed below the skylight of stars
we would have sent our love
across the real, deep and terrible ocean
to the one who would sit in the empty chair.