Thursday, September 23, 2010

trying for greatness

you shuffle down my sidewalk
cut-off joggers
and sandals with gray socks
and i love you

smoke wafts into my air
mouth full of four-letter words
heart empty of affirmation
and i love you

you stop on my lawn
child peering out from stroller
child peeking out from behind your legs
and i love you

but do i like you?

i can love you with my smiles
my time
my conversation
even some of my money

but can i like your family
with my family?

isn't there some line
in the schoolyard dirt
that separates the moms in blazers
from the moms in pajamas?

aren't there rules about
hockey/soccer/dance/voice lesson/
tropical winter vacation/summer sport camp moms
versus other moms?

and i know i'm none of those great things,
but couldn't i be,
if i tried?
should i be trying?

but as you stand on my lawn
with your stroller
you speak of what you know:

and as you stand on my lawn
in your cut-off joggers
you show me what you do:

and as we stand together on God's grass
with our children
becoming family
you teach me to ask:

what does it mean
to gain the whole world and lose my soul?


  1. that's what i loved when the kids were small - you met such a lot of moms from all kind of social background - and the kids just start to play and you start to talk and invite each other for a cup of coffee - and it just doesn't matter who we are - great poem!

  2. I guess this isn't your imperfect prose blog of the week, but I just landed here and I really liked it. I'm not a mother but I guess we all know people like that - people we know we love but who are so hard to like, who are too different. It adds a new dimension when you have kids who are bonding with each other! If I'm honest in my heart, regardless, those are the most important friends we ever have. And it's not uncommon that over time we grow to like them :)

  3. several years ago, God used a friendship between my children and someone else's to begin a friendship. i didn't like or love her at first, but God did. it's been a year of really obeying God and inviting her in and now suddenly i love her and like her. i continue to pray that God will heal her many wounds of rejection and draw her to Him. it's been a humbling process of being God's love in action.

  4. this is brilliant.
    and I know it well.

    and thank you for your comment on my post at Emily's . I was worried to share such thoughts, and so appreciate the grace with which it was received.