Being Unlocked

Each year I return,

pulled to the place

that anchors me,

knowing I can lean

on its changelessness,

no matter how burdened I am

by the cares of daily life,

weighted by losses

both new and old,

heavy with longing

for something to change.


At first

I clutch the burdens close,

somehow afraid

to let them go.

But inevitably

a moment comes

and I crack open,

undone by the simple beauty

of sunlight on running water,

the sound of wind,

a loon’s piercing cry.


It feels like a key

unlocking me,

allowing me to release

all that I carry,

drop it in the river

where it can be swept away

by those swift waters

rushing down the mountain.

They are strong enough

to bear all the heaviness

I’ve accumulated,

the weight of the world,

or at least my part of it.


It becomes

a type of baptism,

where each year

I am washed and revitalized,

given fresh strength

to get me through

until I can return

to be unlocked

and renewed

once again.

Being Unlocked

a poem by Erica L. Bartlett