Messenger (for Judy S.)

A poem by Kathryn Lester-Bacon.

I exchange texts with a woman
who wings wonder-full words

into my phone. She writes
with nerve endings plastered

in pain, her muscles
an unpredictable riot.

She cannot remain seated
for long. She leaves her home only

when armed with a friend
and an exit strategy. Most weeks,

she communes with her sparrows,
her chipmunks, her God, allowing

her phone and prayers to carry
all other conversations.

She has lived this life
for over thirty years.

I will not
call this a cross.

I will not
say what her suffering

is for.
I cannot know

what she says to her Maker
in the nested depths of the night.

I will say
that her burden is not light.

I will say
that this never looks easy.

I will say
that this all seems too much.

I will say
that still she finds a way

to send good news
on a dark winter day.

I will say
that when her message arrives,

a tremble and pulse
in my palm,

her words deliver


something like how
the earth-pinned daffodil

cracks the ground
first with green, before

the gold.