Monday, December 31, 2012

Perhaps the plans will have to change

I admit it seemed a good idea... until we could not borrow a relative*s car and were stuck with the rented convertible.  Lion Country Safari might be a good idea next year, when, God willing, we are all well and we have rented a bigger car.  Perhaps the plans will have to change.

Perhaps the plans
Will have to change.
My beloved
Is not convinced.
Lion Country Safari
Will be enjoyed by all
Darn it
Despite the convertible
Which barely seats two;
Despite the coughs
Of three out of four
Who will ride
In said convertible;
Despite the other facts
Not fully risen
To the surface.
Perhaps the plans
Will have to change.
My beloved is dressed
And ready.
I hear him coughing
In the kitchen.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Weighing in/weighing out

The conversation in the other room moved into mental illness and ECT.  I thought I might have something to offer the conversation, so I joined them.  It was clear I did not.  I am grateful for the opportunity to weigh in and to weigh out.  By George, I think I*ve got it.  After how many years?  I think I*ve got it.  Not bad for over twenty years.  Slow study here.

In my corner of the world
I hear people express their opinions
On mental illness.
I wander in
To see whether my thoughts
Might be considered.
When I determine
I would do better
I return to my corner
Give thanks
For the opportunity
To weigh in,
To weigh out.
I listen to the underlayment of care
In the conversation.
Soon I will join them
To eat spaghetti
For dinner.
As I retire for bed
I will look for the moon
Waxing gibbous.

Same moon

It is important to note the common reference points, one place to another.  Here in Florida I found the moon and the blue jay.  I had forgotten the blue jay is here in the winter as well as living in the Midwest snows.  I remember the return of the blue jay after the West Nile virus decimation.  They make me smile with their raucous can*t miss it presence.  Blue jays are not passive birds.  The moon.... well... it is the moon.  It glows on the just and unjust and all of us caught in the middle.

The same moon
I know in Chicago
Shone through
The slats on the mini-blind
Last night:
Lined and bright
Moonlit stripes on my arm
Until my eyes
Finally closed.
I slept clear through
Time for church.
Last night
The very same moon
Shone full and clear
With stripes,
Reminded me
I have seen it
At home.
This morning at breakfast
The blue jay
Called and jeered
Just like
Every Illinois and Minnesota blue jay,
Hopped along the fence,
Told me
He Is every blue jay
I have ever known
And more.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

In Florida land

Minnesota (me) has been meeting Florida (my beloved*s family) for years now, after Christmas.  No one ever gets up much before noon.  This year we are all in various stages of the respiratory crud.  This year sleeping counts as a good thing.  Next year I think three things: a shorter trip, a motel, and I will be a named driver on the rental car.

In Florida land
No one gets up before noon
Except perhaps
This year I carefully read
The book on listening.
I hear different things
Between the pages:
Sounds of a house
Sighs of the daughter,
She opted to sleep
On the sofa
Instead of the collapsed
Blow-up mattress;
Husband breathing
Still asleep.
Me out of sight
And sound
And anyone*s mind
In the corner.
This is a longer trip
To Florida land.
No one gets up here
Before noon.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Exercising options

Twenty-plus years... I am a slow study, it seems, at exercising options with my beloved*s extended family.  This year is different.  When my vision goes blurry, it is time to retire to my chair in the bedroom, close the door.  I will help with dinner, maybe read more of my book on listening, rather than expecting others to listen to me.  That is not the score for this week.  This week I can help with dinner.  There will be other times for other things.

I am exercising
The corner chair
In our bedroom
Is refuge
From the post-breakfast conversation
At 1:15 in the afternoon.
Twenty plus years:
I have finally learned
To exercise
Finally I have found the space
I can see
I can breathe.
I can help with dinner.
I can live in this space
For the time being,
Listen on the edges
To voices raised.
I can help with dinner.

Listening outside the mirrored door

I am reading Seven Thousand Ways to Listen by Mark Nepo.  No, there are not seven thousand chapters.  Today I am on to Listening to all that is not said.  This is a very verbal family.  Very verbal.  I will have to work hard to find the spaces to hear around the words.  Then again, maybe not.  There are always unsaid things.

I listen from my corner
Of the bedroom.
The mirrored door is angled
So I can see anyone
In the hallway,
But they
Can*t see me.
Is a perfect arrangement.
I may as well
Be on the moon
But the moon
Wouldn*t let me listen.
I understand the sound
Would be lost
In outer space.
I read a book on listening
Small snippets
With questions at the end
Of every short chapter,
Questions which suggest
Ways to meditate.
Instead I apply each chapter
To what I hear
Outside the mirrored door

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Fish dance

Every family has its traditions, particularly around Christmas.  Sometimes the traditions are not quite what would be listed in Emily Post.

It would not be Christmas
Without the annual
Dance around the fish.
My beloved works mightily
To cook
A fresh fish dinner
Every time
We are in Florida.
My beloved*s mother
Does everything in her power
To substitute
Frozen salmon
Gefilte fish.
You name it.
I have witnessed the dance,
The dance around the fish,
For over twenty years.
The argument is part
Of the Florida ritual dance
Around the fish
A dance with learned maneuvers
A dance as choreographed
As any ballet.
It would not be Christmas
Without the annual
Dance around the fish.


I have found a spot in Boca where I can be alone, but not too alone.  Much like the Little Hippo (one of my favorite children*s books).  The fact that I am one week further along in the respiratory crud with which we have all been afflicted means that I feel well enough, but still sound sick enough, to inhabit the chair in the corner of the bedroom, drink my coffee (now cold), and write this.  I can also hear the conversation going on in the other room.  I feel wicked... in a very good way.

Now we are all sick
In Florida.
I have found a chair
In the corner of our bedroom.
The book I lost at church
The day before Christmas Eve
Was replaced by a package
Under the Walgreens tree
On Christmas Day.
I have a forbidden cup of coffee
In the bedroom.
I find I enjoy
The fact that we arrived sick
Makes misbehavior more tolerable.
My dear one can sit
With his parents
As they cluck and croon,
Try to fix him.
I can sit in the bedroom,
With my coffee
As long as I don*t spill.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas afternoon

Every year some adaptation is required.  This year has required more adaptation than usual, what with the kitchen renovation still underway.  My new snowy owl puppet has a head that turns all the way around,  He can look at things in back of him.  He is an inspiration.

Christmas afternoon:
The tiny Walgreens tree
In the corner of the family room
Made do
With its twelve twinkly lights.
We listened to
Pandora classical Christmas music
Once we figured out
Pandora traditional Christmas music
Was anything but
Our tradition.
My husband figured out
Eggs in the microwave.
The trick is to
Break the yolks
Ahead of time.
I am wearing the plumb bob necklace.
It is perfect,
Absolutely perfect,
As are the clothes
The books
The snowy owl puppet.
Soon we will go out
To dinner.
We will be especially nice
To the waitstaff.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Waiting to take the cat to the vet

We usually don*t board the cat at Christmas.  This year, when we*re gone, the counter tops will be installed.  So instead of staying in the basement, the cat will be at the vet*s.

Soon and very soon
We will take the cat
To stay
With the vet.
He is completely unaware
Of the plans,
Curled up
In my lap,
Eyes at half mast.
The cat carrier waits
In the partial kitchen.
It waits.
I wait.
The cat is perfectly content.
Just wait.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The running of the angels

Every year the pageant is different.  Of course it is.  This year the angels took the cake.

The angels entered this morning
Stage center.

At rehearsal yesterday,
The angels appeared
In silence,
Surprised the Angel of the Lord
No end.
This morning
We had
The running of the angels.
Stage center.
They pounded
Toward the manger,
Haloes and wings
Bounced with every step.
The angels
Were not be missed.
First they were heard on high
From the choir loft,
Then came
The running of the angels.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


All of a sudden I find myself humming I Saw Three Ships... Never thought of myself as one of the ships (or rowboats or life rafts).  Hmmm.  With the home front discombobulated from renovation, we bought one of those Walgreens tabletop trees for the corner of the family room.  This means not unpacking all the Christmas things into the midst of the kitchen supplies in the family room.  My daughter had a crazy math teacher the first part of the term... she retired November 1 (TBTG).  What was incomprehensible in September and October became comprehensible with the new teacher.  I see possibilities on the horizon.

I am a ship:
A frigate,
A rowboat,
Sometimes a mere
Life raft,
Sail pieced together
From all the old t-shirts
In the bottom dresser drawer.
Sometimes the wind blows
Fills the sail.
I move.
I am a frigate,
A rowboat,
A life raft
At sea.
There is land on the horizon.
I intuit
When I finally

Friday, December 21, 2012

If the world ends today

It seemed easier somehow to leave the plastic film on the new back doors until the construction was finished.  We had our first snow last night.  I woke up at 4:30 AM.  When I came downstairs, the snow called out.  I saw it only dimly through the plastic on the back doors.  The cat and I removed enough film on one door to see the backyard and snow, pre-dawn.  If the world ends today, it seems best to see things full-on.

If the world ends today
Or simply,
Or not so simply,
Begins again,
It seems imperative
To remove the plastic sheets
From the new glass doors;
To see the snow layered
On the back patio
In its most basic fullness
As it shines pre-dawn
White wet cold
Grass still poking through
(Not much snow)
But if the world ends today,
First the plastic
Must be removed,
The entirety
Of layered snow
Appreciated for its snow-ness.

If the world ends today
Or simply begins again,
First it is time
For the plastic
To be removed.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

We are leaving the turtle in charge

I know Christmas looks different every year...  but this year it is way different.  More to learn.  Always more to learn.  We are leaving the turtle in charge of the countertops.

The kitchen is still
In the family room
In boxes.
The Christmas tree
Is still
In the basement. 
Once finals and grading
Are done,
The tree will go
In the corner
Opposite the boxes
Of kitchen supplies.
The silverware will move
Under the TV
To make room for the tree.
I sit and write
In the raspberry chair.
At semi-regular intervals
I take time
To stick my fingers in my ears
Sing la la la
Then la la la
It*s seasonal,
Doncha know?
We will move the silverware
This weekend.
The countertops
Will be installed
When we*re in Florida
After Christmas.
The cat will spend the holidays
At the vet.
We are leaving the turtle
In charge.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

This is for you: you know who you are

It takes me awhile to learn to trust other people.  I believe a large part of this is nature: the way I have been wired since birth.  I am constantly amazed at others who trust easily.  And envious.  It just doesn*t seem to be the way I was made.  The way I am wired does have a flip side to it... I have a sharply developed intuitive sense.  This allows me to sit with and hear others, even things they might be hinting at.  Sometimes I don*t know where my questions come from.  Still... I take it as gift.  God-given gift.  Even when I am envious of others who trust easily.

So this one is for someone who has sat with me hour by hour by hour... waiting and watching,  And waiting and listening.

This is for you:
You know who you are.
Let everything begin
It already has
It already did
Even before
I fully noticed
The ending.

This is for you:
You know who you are.
Nothing magical
But yet it is;
Nothing on the mystical order
But still
It is.

This is for you:
You know who you are.
Things needed to be un-strung,
Then re-strung.
The tuning has begun.
There may be a song played.
There may even
Be words.
Possibly rhyme or reason.

This is for you:
You know who you are.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Sometimes the oddest things show we are beginning to see things differently.

Things begin to improve.
Again I notice the collapsed
On people*s lawns
As I drive to work
I consider the oddities.
Once again
I am amused.
I will see those same snowmen
Full of air
On my way home this evening
In the dark.
Tomorrow I will see them again
They may look
Even funnier.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Clinic day

Swimming through things today at the clinic.  

It is the clinic day
The week before Christmas
Mere days after so many things
My head swims
In the fluorescent lighting
Blue walls
My mouth opens and shuts
Fish bubbles
Rise up
I look for food
Sprinkled on the surface.
I swim.
Blue walls
Fluorescent lights
Clinic day.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


I have a sense of things being reordered.  I wonder whether the new order will look like the old.  It is Advent 3.  We are always beginning again.  Sometimes we are oblivious to the fact.  Sometimes it hits us in the solar plexus.  Sometimes we take the instructions out of the kitchen drawer, unfold them, and consider the pieces.

I watch the world
As it strives
To reorder itself.
Tab A
Slot B.
This end up.
This end down.
Instructions put away
In the kitchen drawer
Are taken out again,
Wrinkles smoothed,
Laid on the dining room table,
Tab A
Slot B.
This is the top.
This is the bottom.
Find the sides that hold
The bottom to top.
Read the instructions
Tab A
Slot B.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

This is another day

Another prayer resource from the 1979 Book of Common Prayer.  It is found hidden away in the additional prayer section.  I remember a seminary classmate pointing it out years ago, talking about how useful it had been in her hospital Clinical Pastoral Education the previous summer.  

In the midst of illness and grief and tragedy, whatever we do in these times, let us do them consciously, and with the Spirit of Jesus:

This is another day, O LORD, I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready LORD, for whatever it will be. If I am to stand up, Help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit still, Help me to sit quietly. If I am to lie low, Help me to do it patiently. And if I am to do nothing, Let me do it gallantly. Make these words more than words, and Give me the Spirit of Jesus, Amen.~From The Book of Common Prayer (1979)

Keep watch

There is a prayer in the service of Compline (bedtime prayers) in the Book of Common Prayer.  It is one of the prayers I used to pray with my children while putting them to bed.  I still say it when putting myself to bed, particularly when a whole host of tragedy seems to have taken charge.  Here is the prayer:

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep.
Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen.

And my prayer:

Keep watch, dear Lord,
Every time we are reminded:
Grief and loss and tragedy prevail.

Keep watch, dear Lord,
When the ground heaves and swells
And we
Heave and swell
With it.

Keep watch
When skies open up,
Raindrops pour down
Like oh so many tears.

Keep watch
Keep watch
Oh please
Keep watching
When blows to the safety
Of those we love,
Blows to the safety
Of those we have yet
To love
Rain down.

Keep watch while we aim
To catch our breath,
And then
To know
What*s next.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Snow Ptarmigan

I retrieve birds
In my sleep.
Some are whole memories,
Most are partial at best.
At two and three and four in the morning
The snow ptarmigan
Comes to mind
In winter plumage.
It hides in the snow.
I can barely see
Its outline.
There are birds
In my sleep,
Whole birds,
Birds I have never seen
When I am awake.
They remind me of their presence
So I can find them in the bird book
When I wake.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

This side of the Divide

After Diocesan Convention I received an email from my friend, Sam Portaro.  He welcomed me to the .rank of senior priest.  This side of the Divide, it makes sense.  Thank you, Sam, for naming it.

Before Advent began
A dear friend wrote to me.
He told me I have entered the rank
Of Senior Priest.
He told me John the Baptist
Is our patron saint,
The very one who incarnated the truth:
We must decrease
In order that others
May increase.
It was a missive
Of welcome.
This side of the Divide
It makes sense.
I picture John
Cartwheeling in Elizabeth*s womb
Before he was born.
I picture John
On the banks
of the Jordan River
After a breakfast of bugs and honey
Waiting to decrease
After the One who must increase
Has arrived
To take his place.
This side of the Divide
It makes
A particular kind of sense.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

This too will pass

Often I find myself counseling someone who is anxious.  I am no stranger to anxiety.  Often I need to take my own advice.  Sometimes I even do.

I remind people every day
This too will pass.
Take a breath
Find a quiet place
Shut the door.
This too will pass.
I remind myself
Again and again,
Particularly now,
This too will pass.
Find a quiet place
Shut the door.
Post the sign that says
In session;
Pull down the shade.
No one has to know
I am in session
With myself.
God listens with every breath
I take.
No money changes hands.
God does not charge
A fee.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Advent 2.2

Two days into the week of Advent 2.  I am thinking we may need to find a way to have Christmas in the mess.  Pollyanna says: At least the kitchen has been painted red.  There is a psychologist I know who is promoting a messy Christmas.  I don*t think this is what he has in mind.  Then again... maybe it is.

Slowly slowly
We bite the dust.
My ears are plugged.
The daughter sleeps in.
The husband reports
Mild depression.
I listen to the chipper voice
Of the contractor
Sun does shine through
The dust motes
I look at the calendar
For the day,
Consider Christmas
Two weeks hence.
It will come.
It will come,
No matter the state
Of my ears,
No matter who sleeps in,
No matter who
Is mildly depressed.
The sun shines through
The dust motes.
The contractor remains

Monday, December 10, 2012

The old and the new

Tomorrow the appliances arrive.  The next step.  The painting is now complete.  The new puts the old into sharp relief.  The old has served us well.  We have had our current refrigerator for fifteen years.  It was here when we bought the house.  To be sure... its water stopped running, and we couldn*t replace the light in the refrigeration compartment.  But it continues to do its job, even in the dark.

The fresh paint smell
Permeates the house.
Of course now we notice
The fifteen years of paint
Declaring its age
On the other walls.
This is how it always is
When new
Confronts the old.
We stand back,
Let each declare
Its superiority.
The new refrigerator will arrive
While the old one looks on
From the living room,
Jealous of the stainless sleekness
The light that actually works
The water that cubes and shaves and flows
The efficiency rating:
A nine out of ten
Of available refrigerators.
The old one
Has served us
An amazing fifteen years.
We purchased the warranty
On the new one.
We have been warned.
Oh yes
We have been warned.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Advent Two

There is an advantage to years and years of Advent worship.  Even when I am recovering from a cold at home, on a Sunday, awake in a house in the midst of renovation, I can imagine two candles lit on the Advent wreath and the church year moving along exactly as it should.  I understand the second candle on the Advent wreath signifies hope.  I hope be present in church on Advent 3.

Everyone is in church
Right now
Or maybe
Just arrived home.
I have been home
All morning.
I remember Second Advent sermons.
I imagine two candles
This year is Advent purple
Not blue.
I see it
In my mind*s eye.
I know the Sunday schedule.
I can picture the children
Winding up
To Christmas,
Their parents trying desperately
To hold them in place.
It rarely works.
This is Advent Two.
I am home.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Quiet Day

Quiet Day for St. Michael*s, Barrington this morning.  A wonderful opportunity.  I enjoyed it, except for the cough, which seemed to have a life of its own.  Bother.  Thankfully it did not claim the time I had to speak, just the quiet time in between.  I*m sure there*s something to be learned here... there always is.

The cough behaved itself
While I was speaking.
It could not stand
The hour of silence
In between
The talks.
Usually I am fine
With long stretches
Of quiet.
Today the cough
Had other ideas.
Now that I am quiet
At home
There is no problem.
The cough
Has a voice of its own.
I remember this
From innumerable
Sundays past.
Now that I am off
Sunday morning duty,
I realize
I*d forgotten.
Now I remember:
The cough
Has a voice of its own.

Friday, December 7, 2012

More accomplishments

Some days it is amazing what counts as an accomplishment.  In addition to a haircut, getting medication without needing to make a doctor visit, the kitchen being painted as I sit in my office, I have a quiet space to work and one thing to focus on.  After I eat lunch... of course.  All of these count as accomplishments.  

The children have left.
The hair is cut.
The office door is closed.
There is space to do
What needs to be done.
Now to determine
What comes next.
I think lunch
Is a good idea.
When I get home
The kitchen will be painted
A new color.
The medicine awaits me
At the pharmacy.
I said magic words to the nurse
Over the phone:
No fever,
No sore throat,
Productive cough;
Therefore no need
To make an office visit.
This counts as an accomplishment
For today.
One of many.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

St. Nicholas

I got a text two days ago, all in caps, ST. NICHOLAS DAY IS IN TWO DAYS.  It is wonderful to be cared for, with advance notice even.  St. Nicholas actually found his way into this house under renovation, and didn*t even require the usual shoes.  He knows, around here, it is different every year.  St. Nicholas knows how to go with the flow.

St. Nicholas arrived early
Last night.
He tripped over renovation obstacles,
Found the orange juice
In the living room refrigerator.
St. Nicholas
Sneaked up the crowded stairs.
He did not find any shoes
At the door.
The shoes are strewn
In the family room.
St. Nicholas made do this year
With a paper box
From Ten Thousand Villages.
He angled it against the door,
A box,
A few chocolate coins.
Every year St. Nicholas arrives
As he wills.
Every year it is different
And the same.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Every time I enter my office, I am reminded:  here is a container for peace and quiet.  Rather amazing, this.  Stunning, really... 

My office holds quiet,
Even with children outside the door
Most mornings,
The office holds quiet
Contains peace and quiet
I breathe the quiet.
I am reminded
Here there is space
For almost anything
To happen.
Even quiet.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

One deadline at a time

On Iona I made a spectacular find: The Little Book of Calm by Paul Wilson.  Since then I have found the book in numerous places, and purchased copies for many friends.  In this season of quiet, I am finding this book to be quite helpful.  One page recommends taking one deadline at a time.  Only one.  It (of course) is reminiscent of the AA focus of One Day at a Time.  As with many things, sometimes it only takes a simple re-working of a common principle to hear it again.  Buried treasure.

My little book of calm
Suggests only one deadline
At a time.
This is my favorite page.
I call home to find out
What*s new.
Now that I am not dependent
On someone dropping me off
Or picking me up
From work,
I find there are six deadlines
Imposed on the system,
Today alone.
My next client
Is at 8 PM.
She is a regular.
She is my next deadline.
One at a time.                           
I will weigh in
On kitchen paint color
Before bed,
Something else
In the morning.

Buried treasure

I prepare for a new client, and the quiet day on Saturday.  Both are unknowns.  Both are buried treasure.  Advent seems a good time to look for buried treasure.

I search
For buried treasure
In the coming of the Christ child,
The Second Coming
Is buried
Just around
The corner.
The Mayans
May be onto something:
Let one calendar run out
Before creating
Something new.
This buried treasure
May be found
Only when the field
Looks empty.
This buried treasure
May require
Less light
To be found,
A quiet hopeful waiting
In the dark

Monday, December 3, 2012

More wise counsel

Okay.  I will stay home today.  Not that I want to (mind you) but I will stay home, drink hot things, gallons of water.  maybe leave the house tomorrow.

I remember praying
For just enough snow
So a friend
Would have to stay home
Not make an unwise decision.
I recruited friends
To pray with me.
They did.
There was enough snow
To stop traffic
Just enough snow
For my friend
To stay home.
Today every time I consider
Leaving the house,
My right nostril
Opens like a spigot.
I get it.
Just because the calendar says
I can drive,
There is more wise counsel.
It suggests:
A nap,
Gallons of water,
Chicken soup.
Maybe driving

It does not feel like Advent

It does not feel like Advent.  Too warm.  Even the plants are confused.  I understand it*s been ten below zero not too many miles north, in the land of my birth.  Even snow.  I wonder whether this blog will be captured somewhere in the future as a weather chronicle.  Today it does not feel like Advent.  Today I will focus on today*s things:  Do I go to work at the Clinic with a dripping nose?  Stay home and sleep in?  Work on the Advent Quiet Day I lead next week?  It does not feel like Advent... but it is.
Today I choose to follow the Star.   

It does not feel
Like Advent.
The weather is warm.
A friend notes
A confused forsythia
In bloom
On the way home from church.
Another friend notes
This is good weather
For compost.
I note this is a full week.
I have a completely unseasonable
Head cold.
My husband pats my shoulder
On his way to work.
So this is the way it begins,
I think.
I*m sure there must some connection
Between forsythia and compost
Head colds and shoulder pats
And Advent.
Some connection somewhere.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

New license to drive

Today I can drive.  I will most likely make the grocery store run this afternoon, drive to my volunteer job tomorrow morning.  By myself.  No radio.  Today, maybe all week, maybe all month, I will consider myself a new driver.  Learn again the privilege.  I hope I may not have to do this again.  This time around, I know there is the possibility that things might change... any minute. I hope not.

With this new year
Comes driving.
Today it*s not about
But rather
A week or two
With new rules.
This week
When I drive
I will be the only one
In the car.
A week or two, perhaps three,
With different rules,
A new license
To drive.
New year.
New beginning.
This Sunday in church
We light the hope candle
On the Advent wreath.
Perhaps the new rules
Will last an entire season.
This time around
Things will be different.
I certainly hope so.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

I consider Advent

 There is no point in unearthing the Advent wreath.  There is no place to put it. We will have to mark Advent in a different way this year.  

I consider Advent
With four juncos
On the back patio.
They sit
On the leftover kitchen tile.
No snow.
I consider Advent:
No place to put a wreath
This year,
The newly arrived kitchen sink
In a box
In the hallway.
No room in the inn
For decorations.
Today we will remove the pumpkins
From the planters
Out front,
Put them next to the creek
For squirrel food.
Today I consider Advent
Mary jostling along
On a donkey,
Wondering what on earth
Comes next.
Please tell me (she whispers)
No more angels
Announcing strange and stranger things.
No more cries in the wilderness
I consider Advent
No room in the inn
For decorations;
Pumpkins for the squirrels
Out back;
Juncos waiting for snow;
Kitchen sink
In the hallway.
Please tell me
No more angels
For now.