Poem: “The Dark Night of the Soul”


The Dark Night of the Soul
(How does my love look when she sleeps?)

How does my love look when she sleeps?
She sleeps quietly, not snoring,
Soon sighing as she is dreaming.
When the nightmare and terror disturb
That quiet surrender to peace,
She stirs, moans, and cries out for Me.
Her face distorts, her mouth hangs wide.
Her body shakes, her arms reach out
For my hands, my side, anything
To let her know that I am here.
She starts awake, and calls my name,
Shouting and shaking, then waking
To find herself alone again.
“Lover, answer,” she calls to me.
Yet from my lips I answer not.
“My love, where are you. It is dark
and I need your light to guide me,
your eyes to see the barren path.
I desire your close embrace,
If the danger draws too closely.
Oh sweetest soul, answer me.”
No answer. Do I not hear her?
“Will you ignore your lover’s plea?”
I remain silent to her ear.
“I need you now, what do you say?”
I say nothing, and only that.
My hour to talk has not yet come.
“Forget you then,” my love screams.
“What love could you have without ‘yes’
Or ‘no,’ or ‘go,’ or ‘stay with me’?
How does one stay with one who will
Choose His own life and will o’er her?”
With that I reply to my love,
Whose scream now pierces darkest night,
Calling me in the darkest night.
“Sweet,” I call her, for that she is.
“I am here. Have fear no longer.
I would never abandon you,
Not if someone better comes by,
Nor if you betray me, left me,
For others have done it before,
Yet I still remained close to them.
As to answer your pondering
Of the selfishness of my heart,
Consider what I did for you.
Long ago, before the Earth
Existed, I loved you to death;
To death I went because of love,
For you and for all, to save you.
I will never abandon you
In the darkest pits of the night,
To the dangers of a hunter.
For you are mine; I do love you.
But you also must love me back.
Call for me during the good times,
Not just when darkness beckons you.
Tell me of good things, not just bad.
That way we will share that deep love.
We will be united as one,
To live together forever,
To gaze upon each other’s face.”
She soon settles back into sleep.
I sigh and long for her sweet eyes.
There I watch her, my love there lies.
How sweet she sleeps in Heaven’s peace!

Matthew B. Rose


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