Labyrinth with bench - Poems by Erica Steinweg

You Never Really Leave the Labyrinth

Step outside its sacred stones,
and the ancient way
slides back underfoot, tracing
its twisted line
through the everyday.

Moments of entrance,
times of turning,
the way bending back
far from the path
of apparent divinity.

Unexpected grace.
The place of pause.
The centre under your soles
just when you believed
it might never be reached.

Hard truth.
You cannot stay stationary
in the still centre
One slow step
at a time, you practice
the aching art of leaving,
only to find as you make your bow,
cross the threshold,
and fold your body back into your life,
that it is every bit the twisted holy path
you thought you left behind.


The way the world rotates
I find myself
spinning on the merry-go-round,
seeming to land each day
at the same red light,
the same dirty dishes,
the same kiss goodnight.

But the treadmill mirage
is only a trick of the turning Earth.

Truth is
every footstep is fresh,
every eye blink new.
Each heartbeat has never happened before.
And never in all the life of our whirling planet
will my daughter surrender to sleep in my arms
quite like this again.


Just when I can’t
take one more step
in the midsummer blaze
of my sorrow,
there is a bench,
a breeze,
the sweet sound of cicadas,
and the softness
of my own heart
to hold it all.

Erica Steinweg has been a mindfulness-focused meditator and writer for many years. She’s also a mother, a yoga instructor and a northwoods wanderer.

image: Labyrinth in the woods via Shutterstock