pandora’s box

Feb Bluebird

Sometimes, without noticing,
I nudge the lid open
and out spills
those sadnesses, deep and heavy.

Regrets, not so much of things
I didn’t have,
but conduct and words I wish
I had done or not
done.

Small things that I remember,
disappointments I could have changed
into morning glories,

bright blue and heavenly
as the Madonna’s cloak.

***First Sunday of Lent 2019

parable

You are the parable:
the lost lamb, the goat amongst sheep,
a mustard seed, the feast
and the dinner guests,
a fig tree, barren and budding.

All these stories are your story-
the prodigal-
Don’t you remember that time when you fought
and said things you shouldn’t have
and all that stuff was so unforgivable.
But it wasn’t.
And now here you are with a family and children
of your own and you are cherished beyond
measure.

Or you are the eldest, the good girl that never
gave them a minutes worry. And you had to welcome
that no good son of bitch back
after he climbed out of the pig sty and cleaned himself up.

But now you know,
’cause you have been the prodigal too.

A parable, a pearl of great price, a seed sown in good soil,
a wise servant, a friend at midnight.
One who was lost
now found.

Lent 2019

mercy

Early Spring morning storm clouds

is it irony
this leaving of cold dark winter
into the light of spring
just as he learns of the darkness in his body
and the radiation that will slow its journey
into spring
and his lessened future.

is it mercy
this praying for his life, his light
we have nothing to sacrifice other
than the burnt offering that he will become
under the merciless eye of
the ticking machine
and his lessoned future

love and friendship are our only traveling mercies
as he journeys into the spring of his foreseeable future

Psalm 51:15-17 Lent 2019

A good friend begins his journey. We are walking with him on his path as far as we can. We love him so and ask for mercy.

rend not

Unconsciously, I think my husband knows its Ash Wednesday,
the beginning of Lent.
He is busy arranging things on the table top
and the smell of bleach cleaner is coming from the bathroom
where he has sprayed down the shower stall.

I need to dust, our prescribed arrangement of household chores,
he vacuums, I dust.
Dust to dust, ashes to ashes, I sing song to myself
as I look for the Murphy’s Oil Soap.

I tear an old towel into pieces-
Rend not your clothing, but your heart, the prophet tells us.
My heart has had enough rending, thank you very much, and
I think it is high time to darn the pieces together again.

So this is my Ash Wednesday prayer, this beginning of Lent,
that my heart be stitched back into place, that
its brokenness is plastered over and smoothed.
That the grief of the past long years be no longer bright flames
but ash and dust,
ashes to ashes,
dust to dust.

Joel 2:12-13 Ash Wednesday 2019

smudged ashes

176

Soot colored snow
drifts along the frozen roads,
ice covered and tangled
with asphalt and salt.
Smudged ashes
from the Lenten service
seep deep into my forehead,
gaining traction on the slick roads
that lie ahead –
self control and penance,
penitence and prayer.
Monk-like, I long for the cave
of solitude and singular thought.
Life fills in all the edges of my mind,
rolling the stone over the tomb,
guarding from reflection
in ice covered waters
or the certainty of resurrection
in the blooming of Christ’s wounds
on the hillsides of spring.