Monday, April 6, 2020

holy monday

I hope to avoid your judgment
though I acknowledge your right to do so.
Judge me, I mean.
Take whatever instrument is at hand
and drive out everything I have coveted
with the wrong intention, everything
I’m willing to sell for less than its worth,
everything that demands to be worshipped.
Then let me rest.
                            This cleansing
is so much more work than I expected.
If I only knew how to surrender.
Instead, my hands are dry and cracked,
sweat stings my shuttered eyes,
my muscles ache and stiffen.
It is morning or it is evening
and I sit at the table writing to you.
It is the only way I know
to measure my voice against all the shouting.
On the table, a bowl of figs,
a glass of wine, sheaves of paper,
bread. Meager fare, I admit,
but what can I do?
It’s all I can offer at these wages.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

palm sunday

i feel like i’m walking to my death
I am walking to my death

why all this celebration?
we must celebrate the end of all things

there are so many things still need doing
it’s been a long day

why am i surrounded by strangers
i must find my family

all my tomorrows are too loud
i’m so very tired

this doesn’t feel like victory
and what does victory look like

maybe i don’t really have a pure heart
i’m so easily deceived

one day all will be revealed
all will be well
                       all will be well

Saturday, April 4, 2020

(the way home)

The way home
is mostly silence.
The tires hum,
something rattles.

I measure
each breath –
I use honest weights:
past betrayals,
future intentions,
promises
laden with time.

How many doors
do we need to open
before we embrace
forgiveness?

Let’s go upstairs –
have the necessary
conversations;
then fall asleep
in my arms.

Friday, April 3, 2020

(it's times like these)

it's times like these
that i wish
i had taken the time
to memorize poems

to be able
to use their words
and steal
into your bed.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

on my father's 77th birthday

I see your face in the mirror.
I wonder where you lay your head
these days. I hear your voice when I’m angry
and that saddens us all.

I like to think my eyes are kinder
but they may only be the same icy blue.
My hair, too, is silver.
I hope there is some small wisdom
in my speech, even when I doubt.

I suppose I will always be your son.
In the midst of your absence I am often
lost. Still, I wish to hear you say
I’m proud of you as you lay your hand
upon my head, heavy and calloused.
There are gifts and there are burdens.
My hands grow tired from carrying them.

I would even wish to be Isaac
to your Abraham—
let me carry the wood.
Let me be bound as I am already bound,
let me wait for the rustling
of leaves as they fall from branches;
let there be a ram.