Friday, March 5, 2021

Almost, I Can Hear the Singing

It's okay not to know where you are, 
the poet said.
It's also okay to know,
to understand I am poised
at the edge of the riverbank,
the ferryman coming
around the bend.

The woman said, when she
came back from death, she
had found herself crossing
a great plain towards a river.
She could hear the ferryman
and the people on board, singing.
She did not climb aboard.
Instead, she came back
to tell the tale.

So I stand on the riverbank,
knowing the ferryman
is on his way.
What I have is this day and,
with great luck, the next,
in which to love
this beautiful wild world,
this wide sky.
Almost, almost, I can hear
the singing.

This morning six fat robins
perched plumply
on the branches
of the cherry tree.
I put my birdsong cd
on the stereo,
cracked the window
so they can hear,
hoping they'll join in.
Almost, I can hear the singing,
their little hearts, and mine,
so full of joy.

The incident I relate is true. A friend of my grandma's told her this story about her near-death experience. The italicized line is from the poem "Tonight I Can Almost Hear the Singing" by Silvia Curbelo, from the Wild Writing exercise by Laurie Wagner. 


  1. Love those robins. As for the ferryman, he can paddle on by. Or, I think of the Red Dwarf scene where the Grim Reaper comes for Arnold Rimmer and he knees him in the groin.

  2. How beautifully reassuring on a level I am trying to fully grasp ... thank you for sharing Sherry.

  3. Ha, interesting that we took such different things from the same poem. I can't hear the singing of any robins here yet (sigh) as they have not returned. And...ha...I am sure that the ferryman will have to wait quite a while yet!!

  4. I can always relate to your poems as if we were soul sisters. I think we are. I saw a robin first thing when I went outside this morning. It sang a little then flew away. Nice of it to greet me.
    I think it's good to know the ferryman is close by. I think it makes us live life more fully and aware.


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