When It Isn’t There

It’s what the bees are busy with, hive-deep, where no light reaches and the constant drone of action serves to make the sweetness those whose labor makes it never taste.

It’s what the land that flows with milk and— flows with, even if more desire than dish, a morsel in the mouths of weary wanderers who yet taste it only in their dreams.

It’s the name I call you when not thinking of your name but who you are or what you mean or more likely what reward I’m yearning to taste when we are done with conversation.

It’s what remains on my lips after our kiss in the dark, the light at last extinguished and the dog now settled, sighing, in the corner and I wait to taste the respite of shared sleep.

Is it not a wonder, how life’s sweetness is sweetest not handled, owned, or held but hoped for or perhaps remembered, not on the tongue, but when it isn’t there?

 

 

 

About the Poet:
Paul Hooker is a native Southerner, a Presbyterian minister, and a member of the faculty of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Raised in Nashville and Birmingham, he holds degrees from the University of Tennessee (BA), Union Presbyterian Seminary (DMin), and Emory University (PhD). He has served as pastor to congregations in Kingsport, TN and Atlanta, GA, and as an Executive Presbyter in Jacksonville, FL. In addition to writing poetry, he plays jazz bass guitar; both activities speak to his yearning l to create beauty. He is a husband, father, and grandfather.

 

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