Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas hope (for Amanda)

snow falls slow and cold, like death
upon the barren ground;
white, like an unwritten story;
soft, without a sound.

bells of crimson ringing hollow --
gifts cannot replace --
Christmas carols echo heartless --
feasts can't fill the space...

womb now empty; expectation
stolen in the night.
glowing-growing body, crumpled.
hope snatched out of sight.

two thousand years ago, heaven
watched with wondering eye:
only Son, earthen maiden,
broken lullabyes...

her womb had swelled with Godhead-fullness
tipped from heaven's throne.
He grew up; she looked up:
saw Him pierced and all alone.

untimely death had robbed this mother
of her first-born Son.
yet, His sacrifice had left
no good thing undone.

a mother's tears, a spilled-out cup,
unleavened wafer crumbs;
a bloodied cross, an empty grave,
veil torn top to bottom.

the emptiness of Christmas calls
to hearts broken and true:
wrap your love -- womb Him here --
let Christ be born in you.

feel the sting of death, and hope
for victory and for Home.
lean hard, dear soul, and let Him wash you
white as fallen snow.

sharing this imperfect prose with friends
over at emily's place...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

playdoh therapy

in a world where prism-puddles
and sprinklers on lawns
make children squeal in ecstasy,
there's something rather wrong
with little hands that love to open
cups of coloured dough
but fear to squish them up into
a beautiful rainbow.

see, when i was a little girl,
i was afraid to mix it --
afraid to muddy up the hues
so that i could not fix it.
i never formed a marble,
a guppy with pretty fins,
or anything else that would be doomed
to land in the garbage bin.

the other day, my three sons pulled
cups of coloured dough
from the cupboard to the floor
and stacked them in a row.
i turned from my computer screen
and sprawled out with my boys.
we opened lids and turned dough into
messy blobs of joy.

i built my four-year-old a pumpkin,
then i watched him smash it.
my five-year-old mixed red with black.
(it felt so good to mash it!)
pretty sure my jellyfish
would go as jelly goes,
i let my two-year-old subject it
to digestive throes.

well, the mess we made together
cannot possibly be
sorted back into containers.
still, it's plain to see
that coloured dough, like all such things,
is by no means eternal...
unless you use it up -- waste it! --
for memories supernal.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

coming down with something

with flushed face
i cheered my kindergarteners --
paddling pool water in ecstasy

with shaking hands
i held my toddler steady --
climbing plastic rungs with abandon

with heavy arms
i wrapped my sometimes-daughter in a towel --
tasting shea butter lotion like a connoisseur

flesh strangely warm,
back slightly stooped,
voice a little shaky...

shutting doors against winter's storm,
wiping and kissing rounded cheeks,
singing songs...

and they prayed for me,
those precious souls

and i longed to kiss my husband

for grasping my hand while he drove,
for feeding me slices of clementine
and rubbing my back while shepherd's pie baked

we laid on the couch
and finished a movie
(our third installment -- that's the way it is around here)

and i let the housework slide
while i felt the ache
on the outside. just the shell of me.

i feel great.

chicken soup for the proverbial soul: