Poems by Laura Loescher



My friend has a Masters Degree
in Rites of Passage

Did you even know there was
such a thing?

She tells me
she has great reverence
for the Descent

That fall into darkness
that is part
of any true passage

We have finally
over the threshold
she says,
into a free fall
and it is long overdue

This feels true to me

I’m both surprised
it has taken so long
and amazed
that it caught me
by surprise

I will listen,
a student of her wisdom
and the ancient knowledge
of her ancestors
of my ancestors
and all of our ancestors

She reminds me
that the caterpillar
doesn’t turn into
the butterfly
until after its body
dissolves into
in the in-between

We’re not there yet

It’s more like
we’re at the stage
where, having gorged
on everything in sight,
we are bloated
and unwell

Some of us are laying
in the hammock
oblivious to the cocoon
beginning to take shape
around us

Others of us are
trying to make sense
of what’s happening
as the chrysalis
grows closer to sealing
its edges with us inside

Once in full darkness,
we may be able
to let go
to rest
to re-create

But in the moments
as the light is fading
and we can’t see clearly,
shadows look menacing
and we don’t know
what comes next

Is this where we are?

The Imaginable cells
that turn caterpillar
into butterfly
don’t activate
until the body
of what once was
truly surrenders
into the raw materials
of what will come

I want to help!
I want to lessen
the suffering
of this passage!

But she reminds
the helper in me
that the butterfly’s struggle
to emerge from the cocoon
is essential
to strengthen its wings

If I prod at the crack
to help it out
a little sooner
than its right timing
I could limit its
future strength
and the resiliency
for its survival

She also reminds me
that not everyone,
nor every thing,
a Rite of Passage
and that’s part of
what makes it powerful
and real

It feels
like things are becoming
really, really, really real



A part of me
would rather be
designing floor plans
for a tiny house

Or waking up
delighted to meet
the new day
whatever it may bring

I’d even rather
be sorting
the fresh white footies
and the colorful wools
in my sock drawer

Instead, I’m leaning in
listening with my heart
as if what’s here
inside of “me”
is worthy
of my undivided attention
and even my appreciation

I’m learning
to be a refuge
for my pain
and for your pain

a safe home
and resting place
for my own humanity
and ours