I took the Christmas tree down

I am sharing this out of season, an Easter poem I wrote a few years ago, as we were adjusting to our empty nest.

I wanted to share it with Harry Miller at Yellow Crane in the Rain. You should visit his blog. This is one of my favourite posts:
https://yellowcraneintherain.blog/2018/09/06/in-situ/

Are You Thrilled

on Holy Thursday, because I promised it would not be there
to look at on Easter morning. Dinner, notwithstanding
the ham and sweet potatoes would resemble our Christmas dinner
our eyes on the lovely tree in all its glory
the ornaments shiny and calling out to us, rejoice-celebrate-

Though now they mock us-drinking a toast to grandmas deceased, and
burn the roast and put out the candles, but they have no right
to judge us, those self-serving props of Santa Claus
on that holiest of holy days to look at our slips and slights, and
tell the neighbors, look their lights are up past epiphany

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Holy Week (split ends)

It came on suddenly–turning toward the mirror–
that which I have avoided like an ex–
the one who holds all my secrets

Turning to profile, I see my split ends
touch the small of my back and I wonder
how it grew so fast– or was I rip-van-winkling
again
had I stopped looking feeling smelling the time
did I have to remind myself occasionally what day it was
so I would be where I was supposed to be
and on time

I know there are friends
who are done with my nonsense–which is not nearly finished–
as I unravel the threads–the tragedy woven into the mundane
and my only regret in all of it–
my only pause I take in the intense scrutiny
of the woman in the glass–

Is the pain I see around the eyes and the lips–in the knowledge
that I hurt you and your brother
hurt you with months (years) of depression and looking the other way
wounded you with ears that did not hear it all
afraid of the truth in a time when truthful words cut me like rapiers

So I move on so I clash and strain and struggle for you to hear me–
ears that have had it–that love me in their own way–but no longer give credence
to middle-aged fears and jolts–

So I struggle with this, I strangle my fears to leave them back there in the mirror
so that when I see you and you hear me again, my only gift I will give to you again
will be hope

The hope of the Father I found in the sky the flowers the rain and my own hands
more lined than they used to be, dried and cracking around bitten nails from crisis and leaning into the bastard rasp repeatedly until they bled

so that my only choice I am left with, is to look up with hope and prayers, this holy week that went by over and over throughout a decade
and rolls here again, the day I lost my mother slipping by during the holiest of seasons, when love and hope and mercy and forgiveness all are measured into the pot, until what we carry to the table nourishes and soothes the souls that gather there for my only one night

Jesus, you are not a building

A good Friday psalm

You are not a building.
You are not songs, millennia old.
I am yours and you are mine
and that is my joy

Please don’t let me take that for granted
Or stop thanking you–
for you are not a building
or angry mobs, but you are there

You are not this hate-filled debate
but you see it–hear it–and know
what is true–not this circular argument
that breaks our hearts

You are not my race.
You are not my gender.
You are not my house.
But my body is your temple

I beg you to open my eyes
so I see all of the truth.
Is it enough to know that I need you?
I know myself

I am no better or worse
than anyone on my screen, or
on my street, or in that building
that you are not

Giving up pie for lent

What are we reduced to
when we do not want to hear
what another voice is telling us

Who are we become if
we could tear down others without cause
greater than boredom

Our hearts
are malleable and weather-proof
however they might melt under fire

Though no one can see the bruises
of everyday pummeling
from jabs of our closest
and most relied upon

I took the Christmas tree down

on Holy Thursday, because I promised it would not be there
to look at on Easter morning. Dinner, notwithstanding
the ham and sweet potatoes would resemble our Christmas dinner
our eyes on the lovely tree in all its glory
the ornaments shiny and calling out to us, rejoice-celebrate-

Though now they mock us-drinking a toast to mothers deceased, and
burn the roast and put out the candles, but they have no right
to judge us, those self-serving props of Santa Claus
on that holiest of holy days to look at our slips and slights, and
tell the neighbors, look–their lights are up past epiphany