There are a few lucky – or perhaps I should say patient – people out there who have felt this half ounce of joy in the palm of their hand. It is a meeting of wild and tame, of mystery and mundane, of heaven and earth. This idea for a small joy flew straight to me, without any effort on my part. Which makes me wonder if another name for joy isn’t grace.
Joy wears a black cap and weighs half an ounce,
a puff of feathers winking one beady eye
as if to say
I know a secret.
As if it isn’t twenty below
and snow, snow, snow,
as if the weary world was not weeping icicles.
Joy lives seed-by-seed,
each plump shell appearing like a promise
worthy of a hallelujah chorus,
a gospel in miniature.
And perhaps it is cheerful because it sings,
and perhaps we too can be sung
right off our heavy feet
and into feathered glory in the highest.
From Small: An Advent Poetry Sequence
Composed for the caregivers of The Good Samaritan Society (www.gss.org)
Illustration by Elizabeth Evans