First Day Morning

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A few minutes before the hour
The meeting room is murmuring
As Friends find their favored benches,
Take the children out,
Smile and nod and whisper.
Then the sudden hush falls.
We settle in, center down.

From the facing benches (our turn this month)
We see the traffic going by,
Faster and louder than it used to be,
Sun glinting off windshields.
The leaves rustle easily in a light breeze.

The hush deepens, the Light coalesces,
And the oldest member leans left and snores gently in the back.
A smile rolls through the room.

No messages today, no fidgeting, no coughs,
No cell phone whining for attention.
No one looks at a watch.
The Light is shining on us in the dim gray room.
Time passes.

The children start pouring past the east door,
Thundering in on loud whispers,
Waving their watercolors, muffling their giggles,
Absolutely certain they are perfectly preserving
The sacred silence.

The Light is brighter now in the dim gray room;
All that squirming energy is a message in itself,
Waking us and warming us all,
Right down to the oldest member.

When we shake hands,
The sense of the meeting is clear:
It was perfect.

Ninth Month 18, 2005
Kate Daly
Langhorne, PA 19047