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No longer bent like weighted
branches or shrivelled like apples
in the bottom of a bushel basket
No longer circling & recircling
in unsolvable mental labyrinths my parents
have left all muddled perceptions behind  
Now they shine like towers night-clad in spotlight  
like stars visible in the morning sky like uplifted crowns  
flashing reflections of the Father  
& my grandparents too no longer locked
in history have leapt beyond
the limits of every age
Who sees me stumbling heavenward  
laughs gasps at my time-bound ways?  
Might faithful souls now glorified
bother more than a glimpse?
Or are they fixed on the source of all that light?

Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

D.S. Martin

D.S. Martin is the author of five poetry collections, including Angelicus (2021), Ampersand (2018), and Conspiracy of Light: Poems Inspired by the Legacy of C.S. Lewis (2013) — all from Cascade Books. He is Poet-in-Residence at McMaster Divinity College, the Series Editor for the Poiema Poetry Series. He and his wife live in Brampton, Ontario; they have two adult sons.


  • Rena says:

    As always a delight to read his poems. This is lovely imagery of those we love who have passed on, shining in Jesus’ light. Love the sudden introduction of his parents after the bushel basket and how the poem changed to ever more light as it went on from there.

  • June says:

    Love so much. Pretty sure they’re fixed on the Light though (thankfully).

  • Marjorie says:

    Thank you! This one really hits home.

  • Laurie Klein says:

    I am in tears.
    The good kind.

    Thank you.

  • Susan says:

    Such a good meditation on life here vs heaven. I love that it ends with three questions—as it should be from our perspective. You make the possibilities enticing.

  • Anne says:

    Beautiful transition from old age to Heavenly bodies. Every time I read your poem I discover a new facet in the imagery. The difference Jesus makes from ‘shrivelled’ to ‘like stars visible in the morning sky’. Glorious!

  • Debbie Sawczak says:

    Questions that occur to us all; I guess the answer depends on what is meant by “witnesses” in the verse in Hebrews, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses…” Anyway, I love how this jumps off from the Holy Sonnet and adapts it movingly to your own case. I think of my own glorified ancestors too, in contrast to me still here in this struggle.