We were assembled in that place,
strangers with strange names.
Though I could see nothing of the others through the smoke
and across the words of so many different tongues,
I knew we were kindred –
related through questions like,
“Why are we here?”
“where do I belong?”
We were bound in our questions,
but the methods for answering –
the methods divided.
We were together yet separate,
some more together than others,
some more separate.
I avoided those questions,
those deep question I knew we all shared.
I avoided the questions,
but as the smoke settled
and the features coalesced into faces,
I began to perceive
how each had tried to answer them.
I longed to become a part of this group,
And in my yearning I reached out.
I might have caught something in the eyes,
even through the smoke and across the tongues,
but the eyes were too personal,
and too far away to touch.
I reached out to take,
but held back in my giving.
Like so many others,
I knew the danger in giving.
Giving leads to vulnerability,
and that lesson,
oh so painful in the learning.
We were kin in that place,
together yet separate.