Sunday, August 26, 2007


i am only a little boy:
my first day at school
starts tomorrow;
i'll be brave for my Mom,
and not let her see me cry.
but, can i lean on you?

i am only a young girl:
i'll get back on the bus
this week wondering
if the boy who teased me last year
will be in his old seat,
if that group of girls
who giggled behind my back
will still be knotted together.
so, can i lean on you?

i am only a teacher,
not a super hero:
i have good days
and rotten mornings;
i have tears
shimmering in my eyes
behind the happy face
i wear every day.
can i lean on you?

i am only a hypocrite
putting on my clay feet
every morning,
striding forth into the world
bent over by my skeptic spirit,
hoping that today,
i might be bowled over
by faith.

until then,
can i lean on you?

(c) 2007 Thom M. Shuman

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I've Looked at Clouds

she taught your story
to me (and hundreds of other kids),
moving the cloth figures
around the flannelboard landscape,
making Hannah and David,
Jonah and Judith,
Phoebe and Philip
dance before our eyes;

when the widow Gospel
set up house with him,
all the neighbors were surprised,
but then they saw how
anger was remodeled into gentleness,
hollow words were smoothed into promises,
and grudges were set out by the curb
for the garbage collectors to take away;

they were your grace,
that antsy, gabbing, constantly texting
knot of teenagers,
who giggled whil making
ham sandwiches by the dozens,
and then served them
to the street people,
sitting down and sharing their stories,
welcoming the 'least of these'
as if they were family
that hadn't seen in years.

what a crowd!

showr me with their faith,
O God,
that I might be
a witness,

(c) 2007 Thom M. Shuman