Back to the Glens by Paul Haller

Many years ago I read a talk that Paul Haller gave about Hospice work. He said “you help others by helping yourself, and you help yourself by helping others.” It was a healing balm for my own Hospice work.

In this poem, Paul visits his father with his heart open to losses endured and a clear mind. He offers a window to connect and to heal. Presence at the well of compassion.


Photo courtesy Brian Landis

Back to the Glens

He’d lost all his sons except one
Struck by lightning
Blown up by a bomb
Death by cancer
His slow, thoughtful words —
You always were a thoughtful boy
What is this zen?
Do you think it will spare you having to bear your cross?
Sitting there, across the table in the 
Stone floored farmhouse kitchen
I knew why I’d come back to the Glens to talk with him


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