The Work – a poem by Lisa Creech Bledsoe

The Work
“You are not obliged to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it.” — Rabbi Tarfon

What I’m asking
is for my body to become

so I stand in the yellow-leaved
ironwood grove to tune my heart
and press my shaking hands
to one steadfast trunk, then another
sending up my hope-promise:
all will be well

Sinking in the damp loam
offering healing for pain
to the dark root of all things
I wait to sense
the rise and fall of eras

mostly I wait

and breathe,
all will
be well

the mountain
and people,
these hundred trees
this thousand—

baptized in flickering
November sun:

There is work not up to us
to complete, but neither
will we abandon it


Watched by crows and friend to salamanders, Lisa Creech Bledsoe is a writer living in the mountains of North Carolina. She has two books, “Appalachian Ground” (2019) and “Wolf Laundry” (2020) out, and new poems in American Writers Review, The Main Street Rag, and Jam & Sand, among others.

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