Brief Ode to the Beloved

			“We must worship the beloved in all her forms.” 
                         			Ibn Arabi

When I was a child, you
Were my cat. 
Also, you were often 
More than that-- 
You were 
Whatever I looked at 
With wonder.
And so: you were the world. 

But when I blinked, you’d 
Shrink again to become 
This or that-- 
Whatever particular 
Being or place I loved.

And early on I sensed 
I’d lose you 
(and that proved true);
Yet also, that somehow 
You’d return--
Resurrected into one 
Or some other. 
                              And I 
Knew I’d never be able

To predict 
What shape you’d take, 
Or when you’d come.

All I could do was hope
I’d recognize you, 
Even if you were disguised, 

As you so often are. 

“Brief Ode to the Beloved” by Gregory Orr. Copyright © 2020 by Gregory Orr. Used with permission of the poet.