Sunday Series # 5

A series of rough drafts written on Sundays.

This particular poem is an old draft I stumbled across recently. I decided to post it tonight in honor of February and the month of Valentines.

“2/15/13”

Today love is not roses or romance.
Today love is a room full of high school students,
laughing and listening.

Today love is smiling
for a seventeen mile stretch
of 280.

It is one Hershey’s kiss,
one basket made of old magazines,
and the sunlit knowledge
that I have stepped into my calling.

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Sunday Series #4

A series of rough drafts written on Sundays

“Night of Watching”

Egypt stands in the door
and watches the children of God
as they hurry away with bread on their backs
and Joseph’s bones in their arms.

She is still numb from waking up
next to a corpse,
and finding another
down the hall.

She will never get the taste of blood
out of her mouth.
She still sees things creeping
in the corners of the room–

frogs, gnats, flies, locust.
Her cattle are long dead,
and her crops long flattened
by God’s righteous hail.

She presses her fingers into her forearms,
but the flesh still smarts
with the memory of the boils:
a fine dust over the land.

Even though the terrible darkness
has finally ended,
she still feels it shrouding
the vacant spaces of her heart.

O Pharaoh!
If only she could bend his ear
and soften his heart,
they might have been spared.

But now she is ruined, and her son
lies still in the upstairs room.
She almost laughs–after all,
who can change the heart of a man?

She stands in the door with silent eyes
and her pale hand flutters near her throat,
clutching for her favorite necklace,
but she finds it, too, is gone.

God’s children are led out
on this night of watching–
covered and set free.
Now it is she who is enslaved.

Sunday Series # 3

A series of rough drafts written on Sundays

I stumble across
The dawn like a poor skier,
Too scared to trust the fall line.
My adversary is clever
And strong.
By the time the sun rises,
I feel that I
Am lost.
Have lost
The battle
Before it begins.

Sunday Series #2

A series of rough drafts written on Sundays

“Last Easter”

I came across an image
trapped inside my phone.
My grandfather,
My dad,
My brother.
They all stand tall in the gray afternoon,
hats pushed back.
They rest their forearms on the bed
of the white pickup truck
and interlace their fingers.
Three generations
cut from the same cloth
and held in the same posture.
Immortalized in the midst of
the talk that follows work.

I took the picture furtively from the dining room,
so it is mostly
blinds and mesh.
But the next time my mother asks
what I expect or desire,
I will tell her, “a man like that.”