Eleven floors below me,
twin parallels of six flags
on each side of the hotel drive
ripple slightly in the lights and breeze.
A few cars and people move
on or along the street lining the river.
Reflected lights, stone pillars
and the steel frame of twin lanes
across the water mirror their images
in the lightly brushed surface
where river and lake become one.
About twelve miles out beyond the Navy Pier
and the near, small lighthouse,
long layers of a low gray sky
join the seemingly endless waters
of Lake Michigan in a monochrome horizon.
Just beyond my window,
long lines of steel and stone
frame sections of glass
rise fifty floors and more
into the shared space
that connects earth and sky
in the soft light of suppressed morning.
Last night, a few close colleagues
joined in that curious blending
of debate and joking,
sharing stories and laughter
after the finishing of food
and before the mood turns to leaving.
In black suits and white shirts,
wearing our sunglasses at night
we take a few pictures with the backlight
of high-rise city, laugh at ourselves.
Checking messages back in the hotel,
I learn that lives dear
to two other people that we love
have passed into that changing
between this life and the next:
a few decades too soon for one
and the other at the long end
of covering miles and days
and the ways this world has
of bringing both joy and pain.
We weep with those who weep,
rejoice with those who rejoice—
sometimes the one so close to the other
it seems as if with one voice—
and continue our sharing
of the spaces in between each,
trusting him who also lived and died
upon this same though deeply changed earth
to be with us from death to birth,
praying his peace and comfort
to be within, between and upon us all.