Another entry to our talent showcase by member Irene Mills…

Brett Gallaher —  December 2, 2012 — Leave a comment

“Your presence is the only Gift”

My friend is fifty,

And there’s to be a party.

The invitation says No gifts

Beyond the gift of your presence,


A gift is called for, surely,

And I would like to disregard

Even so well-meant a restriction,

Knowing that Fifty is no small occasion

And ought to be marked by something—

But the invitation says No gifts.

When I became fifty,

I began to know what others knew before me.

Faintly began to understand

What was important,

What was triviality;

Began to feel the clutter of obligation,

The need to simplify;

The burden of having, wanting,

Needing more than was needed;

The weary task of seeming grateful

For things unasked-for, unwanted—

Grateful, yes, for the loving thought,

The kind motive—

But things enough I had, and have; what little I want,

I can provide myself—would rather, in fact.

The pleasure is in the choosing.

Now what I most want is that which I most lack:

World enough and time, as the poet said.

Does she feel this too, at fifty?

The invitation says, No gifts—

But even if I possessed the power of Everything,

What could I give

That would be worth the giving

To such a friend?

She who showed that Life is a labyrinth to be walked

With mindfulness—with reverence, too—

With joy, and generosity,

And courage, and humor—

With gratitude, and inner light.

She who knows, none better, that Life

Is robust but fragile,

A gift on loan

To be used and not husbanded.

She who once mirrored me to myself,

Showing me a self I had not perceived—

A self capable of more, much more

Than I dreamed or thought possible.

She knows how to give—

But she has an unfair advantage,

Being, in herself, a gift.

So my friend is fifty,

And there’s to be a party,

And the invitation says No gifts—

But I’ll not come empty-handed;

Will give her the gift she gave to me:

Will mirror herself to herself, as best I can,

And say with love, as from friend to friend,

Such you were to me, such you are,

Such you will remain.

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Brett Gallaher


Founder of We Occupy Jesus and Huffington Post blogger. Also, I enjoy paying too much for coffee.

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