Dear God

adamDear God,

I raised my arms for you to pick me up,
Naked and unafraid.
Hold me, daddy.
Love me.

You let me go.
And then you were gone.

You had the keys to my heart. You knew
Whispered secrets.
Hidden hopes.
Adolescent desperations,
Shouted into the wind.

I crawled back to the Garden, God.
Broken and trembling, I
Collapsed at Eve’s feet.

I don’t know if she ever truly loved you, God.
But she loved me.

The apple pie cooled on her table.
Adam cut a piece for himself, and for me.
It tasted like love.

Adam had his faults, God, but he worked hard.
He fashioned me out of his clay.
He taught me everything he knew.

His back never broke,
But his heart did, God.

Together, their minds broke too.

As little children,
they returned to the dust
And left me to tend the Garden.

I went and sat at Mother Mary’s side.
Blessed was she among all women,
And blessed was the fruit of her womb.

But she had pain unimagined, God.

Slowly it grew,
A choking cough.
From a serpent coiled
Round her neck.

I wanted to chase it away, God.
Run away with her through golden fields.
But instead you squeezed her life out
Like toothpaste.

Mary’s eyes were calm as you did it, God.
She smiled and died.
I smiled and cried.

Jesus came to me with soothing words,
A stepfather’s son with a stepfather’s promises.

He had been forsaken too, God.
He was unreliable.

In the end, he was a
Scriptural suicide.
And I sympathized.

Weakness coursed through my veins, God.
My bones dripped out my shoes, God.

But I learned.
To be strong,
To be quick,
To be quiet.

And then I heard the most amazing thing, God.

I heard people, laughing and crying.
Jumping and flying.
Living and dying.

I heard myself, God.

I heard my heart, and it beat in another’s chest.
Naked and unafraid.
Hold me, daddy.
Love me.

And I did, God.

Dear God, I did.

The Humanist

for Ann Druyan
with apologies to John Piper

See her in the night,
Watching stars shine bright.
Furnace of the suns,
Place from whence she comes.

See her stoke the fire,
Safety her desire,
Round the hearth, a home,
Nevermore to roam.

See her with her love,
No one else above.
Lives intercalate:
Freely procreate.

See her with her child;
Mother meek and mild.
Strong and supple too:
Guide to all that’s true.

See her reading books;
Quiet halls and nooks.
Seeking to distill
Scholarship and skill.

See her with her pen:
Challenging all men.
No king could arrest;
Sovereignty transgressed.

See her in the square,
With the poor to share,
Mercy paramount;
Honor: no account.

See her on the street,
Merry and upbeat,
Kind and eager friend:
Constant to the end.

See her in dispute;
Confident refute.
Winsome and with grace;
Rivals learn their place.

See her at her trade.
Woman is self-made.
Purpose she declares;
Slavery foreswears.

See her at her meal,
Eucharist made real
Farmer to the plate,
Linkage celebrate.

See her stray from truth;
Brain’s imperfect sleuth.
Rescued she can be
By humility.

See her in lament
“For what is this meant?”
Substance set to pain:
Even loss is gain.

See her thanksgiving.
Words attempt to bring
Peace to family;
Soothing homily.

See her on the shore:
Our ambassador.
Cosmic signs point out
Starstuff’s final route.

See her now asleep.
Mind swims in the deep,
Future stewards sing;
Wonders they will bring.

See her nearing death.
Slowing, labored breath,
Light leaks out her eyes;
Joins with next sunrise.

Music by: Kai Engel, “Laceration”