Monday, February 17, 2014

A Chronology of Paying Attention (1): it begins with what my momma taught me

In this season that I do not have time to write, this is the idea God gave me:  For me to ponder and notice again the words I've already written once, to keep praying the beads of memory to discover this sacramental life.

Won't you join me?  
I'd welcome your company along the way.
It begins with what my Momma taught me...

What I Learned From My Mother*

I learned from my mother how to love
the moment, to keep plenty of paper on hand
in case you have to rush to a birthday party
with cards and gift wrap from the closet. 
Scissors and pens also. I learned to save books
old enough to hold stories for the next
generation, to carve apple slices
from the inside out -- slice through crimson crisp skins
and flick out the pulpy bruises by knife point.
I learned to invite company even if I didn’t know
the menu, to pass around the moist excess
of lotion, to dispense tic-tacs up the pew
silently, a minty-fresh eucharist.
I learned that memories we save mean everything,
what anyone will remember is what we write.
I learned to believe I had the power to ease
hot grieving wounds like a cool cloth angel.
And shop the Salvation Army -- turn
musty neglect into a repurposed self. 
And once you know how to do this, 
you can never refuse. To every child you mother, 
you must offer healing: a blueberry cobbler you baked
yourself, the comfort of your story voice, 
your calm, cool touch.


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