Tuesday, March 3, 2015

For a love older than the earth herself (#SmallWonder)

I found her thrust deep into my heart
last August
from somewhere, someone Divine.
Because had I known what loving her would entail,
I’d have balked at the unknown.
I’ve have settled for something
less foreign,
less challenging,
less costly,
than her.

But she came all the same and I’ve found
of a soul as I finger trace
the etches of her shell,
ripples on a pond of bone.
And I awaken to mystery
in the deep beaded pools of her dark eyes.
And I connect with a life,
with imprints of God,
outside my human skin
as I stroke each tiny scale of her leathered
cobblestone legs.

And Love, yes,
I’ve found this, too.
How it gathers in my throat and bunches
in the pockets of my eyes,
as it did the other night when I stood over her new home.
The one my husband and I constructed for her,
our hearts on a singular mission:

make her happy.
With the silent streak of a thousand falling stars
I knew we did this not for a pet,
nor for a project,
nor to indulge the sentiment of “spoiling” a creature in lieu of a child.

We did this for love.

For we do not own her any more than we own the
desert from which she was stolen,
And out of some deep human shame
covered by some redemptive love deeper than shame,
we did this because it’s right and good.

And that is a wonder, small and full and deep,
older than the earth herself.

Joining Kelly and the community at Small Wonder


  1. Oh Amber. What a beautiful poem, with thoughts that touched my heart deeply. Your thoughts echo the sentiments I have for animals. There is something inexplicable there, an echo of Eden, that is birthed when we love another species. I have the sense that we are experiencing something of our original position as caretakers of creation. It's primal, and powerful. And when I feel it, I know it's a moment when I touch the heartbeat of God.

    I get it, for I have bonded with a certain beagle, and it is magical.


    1. Yes, I feel that, Sharon - the primal and the powerful and magical, and the heartbeat of God. All of this. It's so nice to know you get this, too. Thank you.

  2. Oh those turtles. They dig in deep into our hearts. She has a good home with you.

    1. I detect a hint of firsthand experience in your words? Do you, or did you, have a turtle or tortoise?

    2. We have a little water turtle named Fletcher. It walked into our yard as a hatchling. An answer to my daughters prayer. He had to cross the road to get here and right when I was in a position to see him.

  3. Amber, I look forward to meeting this Pepita some day. What a sweet testimony to her care and God's creation.

    1. Thank you, Jody. I do love caring for her.