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Sweaty sleeplessness
Hot flash greets me at midnight
Hello, Menopause

Chores

(For Mr. Buble)

In the heat of the summer sun
You swat a fly,
Draw a dusty arm across your brow
And push on,
Crisscrossing the yard
With that heavy mower.
All alone,
Except for Casey Kasem
To keep you company
By counting down the hits.
You sing along,
Dreaming of the day
When he’ll announce your name
At the top of the charts.

In the quiet of my kitchen
I fill a pail
With sudsy water
And crisscross the floor
With this heavy mop.
All alone
Except for your voice
Keeping me company
By singing “Home.”
I am content to sing along,
Grateful you had such a dream
And that you made it happen.

New Shoes

As usual
It begins with something small
A word, a thought
A grain of worry
Like sand in my shoe.

I keep walking
Going about my business
Going about the business
Of ignoring
This tiny thing.

And it works
For a while.
As long as I step carefully, I can fool myself into thinking
It’s gone.

But soon enough
The sand becomes a pebble
That hurts with every step.
It reminds me that it’s there.
Still,
I continue to ignore it,
Hoping it will go away.
Besides,
It’s such a small thing.

By now,
This stone is cutting into me
Making every step a limp
That makes people turn to look at me
In pity.
All I think about is the pain.
The pain!

I have forgotten that this started
With a grain of sand
Or how it even got there in the first place.

I can walk no further.
Not one more step.

“Child. Sit.”
I obey.
He removes my shoes
Worn from weary miles
And the debris they have collected
Over time.
He cleans my wounded feet,
Anoints them with love
And gives me new shoes:
Peace!
“Wear these every day.”
With these shoes
I am prepared with peace,
Ready to walk
To run a mile
To dance all night.

I won’t fret about pebbles or stones
Or tiny grains of worry.
I have other things to do.

You look at me
And see
The welcoming face with the brilliant smile
A large collection of friends
Bold strides
Sure gestures
And you think I have it all together.

The truth is
I struggle
With self-doubt turned to self-loathing.
I worry that I’m not enough
Or that I’ve said too much.
I’m certain that
Eventually
I’ll be found out
Discovered to be lacking
Less-than
An imposter.

So I smile bigger
And distract you with brilliance.

She is not just lightly flat
Or a tad sharp.
Her voice is all over the place
As if someone
Scattered the little black notes onto the page
Just in time
For her vibrato to attack the song.
It is strong
Not a hint of doubt,
Yet so devoid of accuracy
That I am completely distracted.
I am left silent.

So I give in
And let the words bounce around me
Until they begin
To wash over me.

She sings with a passion
I’m too timid to express.
Moved by love,
She is singing only for Him
Declaring her gratitude
Full of joy and victory.
In her song
Is the truth my heart knows,
Reminding me of His boundless love
That fills me with joy
And is my victory.
In that moment
I couldn’t be more grateful
For her song.

Sing it, Sister!

Cleansing

Create in me a clean heart,
O God.

Because I feel so dirty,
Covered with the mud
I have wallowed in.
The smudge of selfishness
That leaves its black mark
On everything I touch.
The dust of worry
That trails behind me.
The spot of pride
That everyone can see.
It is baked on
As I have stood in the
Hot sun of stubbornness.

Now wash over me,
Holy Spirit,
And cleanse me head to toe.
Cool, soothing water raining down from Heaven,
Running across my body,
Dripping through my hair,
Streaking downs my arms.

And I will step into this stream
Of Your love and grace
As it flows to me, from me,
Taking with it the mud
That had dried on me,
Leaving me clean once again.

For sale: one Fitbit.
Works, though not consistently,
Much like its owner.

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