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Staying Connected Initiative Volunteer Christina Manweller

One of our new volunteers, Christina Manweller,  came to help Bessie’s Hope through our  “Staying Connected Initiative.” Christina provided multiple recordings of herself reciting poetry that she had written to engage with elders and offer a creative and peaceful reflection during this difficult and stressful time.  Below you can read one of her poems!

“Aiming Toward Evening”, by Christina Manweller

Yesterday I cut back the unruly trumpet vine,

cut it back to a stubby flame of stick.

Like me: a shadow of itself,

but soon to bloom out of so dry a wick.

A bird busies himself,

knitting a distinct lulling song

around the late afternoon Sabbath.

The sun, sweet on my back,

won’t settle for long I know—

the earth inevitable in its movement.

Another bird starts a song

from across the yard,

knitting his own Sabbath coat.

It is possible to swaddle oneself,

to let go,

to bathe in song and in sun

and close your eyes, let go

of, and let go of . . .

A squirrel starts yammering

in the tall blue spruce,

a tree planted by Grandpa

when his son, my uncle, died.

I must remember

to water tomorrow if there’s no rain;

there will be no rain.

A crow calls from the yard next door.

Somewhere nearby, an electric saw cuts

the afternoon in two. Stops.

A finch flashes past

to land on the tall plank fence.

The sun warms my back still

though shadows crawl forward,

forward, and in a new wind I feel the start

of a certain coolening

as the Rocky Mountains reach reach for that sun,

so that I know the afternoon will bottom out

before long in a quick-fallen dusk.

From here I can see Pike’s Peak

rising deep blue, rising to the south

straight out of nothing,

the sky light and lightening up above.

Clouds, burrowing into one another,

form, re-form, then stagnate, and calm.

The crow yells, a primitive sound beseeching;

lifts off, flap-flapping away

to the west out of sight. The breeze stills.

A neighbor starts hammering—

hammering at something.

Whap whap whap whap. Stops.

“O.K.” he says. “O.K.”