Tuesday, April 8, 2014

8/30: For Noah, who tried to run

I may have my detractors, but you must
give me this much, at least:  Never
were any children more clean,
more well behaved, more perfectly still,
more faces of angels, more Sunday best,
all arrowstraight and godliness.  What is a bathtub
if not a baptismal font, scrubbing every speck
of sin away?  My three boys, the disciples, John,
Paul, and Luke one by one and then Mary,
sweet Mary, the baby that broke
this camel’s back.  Noah saw her there, floating
face down in the holy water, Noah my firstborn,
my eldest, my king

                                         of troubled seas
and he was afraid.  I sang to him to coax
him back, and I sang to him as he struggled
beneath the waves, then placed him there
in the waterstorm he was named for, holding Mary
in his arms, my Alpha and Omega together
and my three straightarrow boys laid out
in the quiver of the bed where I made them.  I loved them
more than I loved God, so I sent them home to him
so nothing could come between us.  Their earthly father

loved me still, told people he wanted me to smith
more for arrows for him and for God.  But I failed him,
failed our quiver, failed God.  My babies stumbled
because I stumbled and when I let their souls fly
I gave them that gift at the cost of paradise, knowing
full well that eternity shall deliver my reward.

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