The Salt Beginning and Pepper End


It's strange the way we talk about
beginnings and endings
as if they were not married to each other,
as if they were not as inseparable as
the salt and pepper shakers
we are careful not to divorce as we pass
around the table.

With every beginning, an ending sneaks
in the back door to whisper
in our ears as we sleep,
It will never be the same
as it was before.
And the parts of ourselves that were cozy
and warm in that past
will protest,
sometimes loudly and without grace.

But children are weaned
seeds sprout
every planet takes its turn around the sun.

Romanticism and nostalgia
settle onto the couch and motion
for us to sit down between them.
Wasn't it good back then? they prod.
That was the life!
They are so quick to forget that
every time has joys
and struggles
and longings
all its own.

Some endings feel so final,
like a law enforcement officer
delivering bad news.
We think the words slammed the door
shut in our faces,
when we've simply been ushered
or wooed
or thrust across a threshold
into a new day,
a new frontier
and anything is as possible as
the day we were born--
our days laid out full of pristine possibility,
freshly fallen snow without
animal print or fallen leaf
to mark it.