Sunday Mornings Are Never Really Sacred

A poem I wrote years and years ago that I am reminded of today. I like to think something really new and beautiful awakened after I wrote it. I don’t really go to church or am A practicing Christian” any longer, but I do find something wonderful about a Sunday.
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Sunday Mornings are Never Really Sacred

Sunday mornings are
never really sacred.
You walk to church,
like your feet are carrying you there.
You can’t say why.
It just feels like something you’re supposed to do.

Minds eye takes me home
Meandering road
Pennsylvanian vistas of the
Hilltop crest past the Christmas tree farm,
Barn door tucked into valley folds of
sunlight soaked evergreen pond.
Tampered by the promise of
Lumped on fracking wells
To end this recession.

In the city you arrive at the church
and climb to the balcony.
No familiar faces greet you. The sounds of a passionate piano do not guide the way.
No tapestry of a labyrinth, or a Pentecostal dove.
No smell of flowers or wax dripping off of candles.
No need to brush legs with your neighbor while you step into the pew.
No prayers of concern, no reverend who raises his hands –
Let us stand and greet each other.

Just that little black book, where you write your name and check whether you are a member or not.
And the hymnal too. It’s the same shade of blue.
Without white walls to use as a pallet for the colors seeping out of organ pipes,
your gaze tracks the leaden frame of a stained glass window,
dodging eye contact with a painting of Christ.

Your mind drifts during the sermon,
And when the collection plate comes around you throw a dollar in,
hoping it will atone for the sin of forgetting to tip the cabbie last night.

These avoidances keep you vulnerable,
until the end of the service, when the man in front of you with a startling stare turns around and invites you downstairs for coffee.
Tells you about what a great church this is and boasts of former reverend with Princeton accolades who boosted membership with his own bare hands.

Walking back to your apartment under a grey sheet of sky
you call your father and remember that today after church
you won’t be watching red cardinals and clumsy squirrels
dancing in the big pine tree
outside your long glass window

Rather hum to yourself
Be Thou my Vision
While washing the dishes

Compassion

Eating seeds of compassion
From my hands
An open pomegranate
Of thick tears
Crying for those I lost
   A soul mate
   An idea of mom and dad
   A grieving brother
   A friend I call sister
Crying for those who rule over me
    A powerful woman
    Who in passing
    Awakens me to love
    Like all of us
    She walks in her own hell
    Talking to her
    Leaves me with
    Pools of reflection
    That wash away
    My mask of denial
    “Why do you do this?”
    “Listen to us, like this?”
     She says, “Because, I care for adults here
like
     the adults here care for children.”
     How then, does the heart
     Translate those words
     To a crying lover asking
     “Why do you do this for me?”
     “Stay here with me, like this?”
     “Because, I care for my friends
like
     the children I care for every day.”
     From inside, I hear
     The voice
     Of a child
     Whispering
 tenderly
     “Actually,
Because,
     I love you.”

snowbyrinthian

Snow-walled sidewalks
Labyrinthine twists
Body glides along
In these moments
You are closer to god than others
(Or moving further away).
Minotaur’s horned head stuck in my own heart chambers
I place my spine on her spine
My tree.
I ask her heart to beat with mine
Seated on a snow drift
“Give me some answers, please?”
Then a voice –
Is it him ?
Did I meet him on a walk one morning?
No, just men jogging.