Forgiveness is not an abstraction for
it needs a body to feel its relief.
Knees, shoulders, spine are required to adore
the lightness of a burden removed. Grief,
like a journey over water completed,
slides its keel in the packed sand reef.
Forgiveness is contact with the belief
that your only life must now be lived. Knees
once sank into the leather of the pew with all
the weight of created hell, of whom you did not ease,
or what you did not seize. Now the shortfall
that crippled your posture finds sudden peace
in the muscular, physical brightness
of a day alive: the felt lightness
of existence self-created, forgiveness.
— from: Cornucopia: New & Selected Poems. W.W. Norton / Penguin Canada, 2002.
Molly Peacock is a poet, biographer, essayist, and short fiction writer whose multi-genre literary life has taken her from New York City to Toronto. Her poetry is included in The Oxford Book of American Poetry as well as Canadian anthologies. Peacock inaugurated and serves as the General Editor for the Best Canadian Poetry in English.