A Note to My Granddaughter Jessie

In the dark light of a late February day
I am listening once again
To grim news
Of senseless violence overseas.
It seems the distance
Dividing us
From other people’s grief
Is vanishing.
We have been told repeatedly that violent death
Is coming our way - that nothing we say or do
Can possibly save us from our own history.

This may be true but even so there still remains 
The simple beauty of the morning rain to praise.  
It has been raining here for hours, Jessie,
And I have lit a fire to take away the chill.
There is music here as well, lyrical and spare 
Delineations of our longing from the horn of Lester Young.
Hearing Lester burnishing the air between the notes
You have to love how skillfully
He works to build a space
From which the need to kill
Has been ceremoniously excluded.  
You have to love how gracefully 
He reaches past the grief we feel in search of deeper pleasure;
How he teases out perfection; 
How he preaches understanding; 
How he calls to us and calls to us
Across the fallen world.