Night Keeper

I have been the night for so many.  
I bring them into shadow lands 
so they may let go 
and descend.  

I’ve been a gatekeeper 
for the elevator 
to the underworld, 
like a daughter of Hela 
or Persephone.  

The price to enter
is only pride and vanity,
and the clutching of hands
that cling to life.

I invite all to disembark 
into darkness, 
to the very bottom of the pit.  
Oh, the flailing attempts
to throw off the cloak
of the void.

How the fear of night
creates the fight,
the gnashing of teeth
against flesh, the struggle 
against ushering spirits
perceived as hungry ghosts,
the ripping of oneself 
into pieces.

Yet I endure the injuries 
to keep beckoning souls 
to the end of the fall 
where surrender happens.
For that is where God 
can enter, and so begins
the return of the light.

Bless the Shadow Keepers 
and Guardians of the Night.  
For death must come 
for life to be born.
 
And bless the Keepers 
of the Light, 
for holding safe the hope 
for all existences, 
the promise of new life. 

Copyright © 2021, Sheyorah Naify
Art: Persephone, the Eternal Maiden by Leah Flippen.

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