From Shaman’s Circle, 1996, by Nancy Wood
Before we met, you and I were halves unjoined except
in the wide rivers of our minds. We were each other’s
Distant shore, the opposite wings of birds, the other half
of a shell that keeps the clam from falling out.
We did not know each other then, did not know our determination
to keep alive the cry of one riverbank to the other.
We were apart, yet connected in our ignorance of each other,
like two apples sharing a common tree. Remember?
I knew you existed long before you understood my desire
to join my loneliness to yours. Our paths
Collided long enough for our indecision to be swallowed up
by the greater needs of love. When you came to me,
The sun surged toward the earth and the moon escaped from darkness
to bless the union of two spirits so alike that your
Pain became my discomfort. In the hour when I stood naked,
You were there to play the drum of life for us.
Beloved partner, keeper of my heart’s odd secrets, clothed
in summer blossoms so the icy hand of winter
Never touches us, I thank your patience. Our joining
is like a tree to earth, a cloud to sky, and even more:
We are the reason the world can laugh on its battlefields
and rise from the ashes of its selfishness to hear me say,
In this time, this place, this way, I loved you best of all.