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  • Writer's picturePenny Harter


Thin Places

Moments, locations, within or without the

confines of flesh and spirit, thin places call

us, whisper memories we can barely translate,

only know we need to hold them closer.

In the dark night of the bedroom, one of my

thin places wavers on the border between

sleep and waking, between dream and what

we call real—whatever real is.

Waking now and then, knowing a dream has

been seizing me, I reach for it only to feel it

drift away like smoke, into a place I cannot

reenter, a portal that will only open unbidden.

Lost loved ones visit me there, pull me into

places where I feel at home although I don’t

remember them. Unable to linger, I daily

seek thin places hiding in the natural world.

Time spent in communion with deer, or gazing

into a shallow roadside pond of clotted water

lilies as if it were a scrying mirror—when I enter

these still moments, a thin place embraces me.

I become deer, and even stagnant water holds

the sunning turtle who slides off the log into

the dark between yellowing lily pads that hint

at shortening daylight, cooler weather.

Along any path, thin places wait for us,

and we must seek them, must learn to slow

our pace and tame our fears until we find

ourselves between worlds, on our way home.

© 2020 Penny Harter

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