Digest>Archives> Jan/Feb 2024

The Old Light

By RJ Heller


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“I wonder if the care of the lighthouse will follow my soul after I leave this worn-out body? If I ever have a gravestone, I would like it to be in the form of a lighthouse or a beacon.” Abbie Burgess Grant

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The Keeper whispers to herself . . . To look at my hands, so wretched and raw, with blisters of bright oil and burns from rope so tight, reminds me of long days, lost hours spent watching and waiting, for something, for someone, anyone.

The spiral stairs climb high

into stone sinking deep.

Wrapped souls from the past

turn over with every roller.

Look up,

from earth hard and water so cold.

Handrail smoothed by time

yearns to be touched.

Up above, a cloudless

black sky brings darkness.

Look below,

as beggar fog roams seeking light.

At the top, there, a stone step

cupped by time, receives me, the Keeper.

Brick walls fall forever,

as mortar weeps, the piano plays in my mind.

Look outward,

my breath drips from this place.

One at a time, sounds echo,

folds back the years.

They bring joy for those glimpsed,

hurtful heartache for the lost.

Look beneath,

to castaways of bone and foam, together, forever.

The glass made of sand and spit

blink light’s heartbeat onto arms outstretched.

It is a tether of life to be touched,

to be received, to be loved.

Look within,

and see Angels smiling tears of joy.

This story appeared in the Jan/Feb 2024 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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