Wednesday, November 23, 2011

boots (Isaiah 64:1-9)

so shiny you can see
      your glory in them
   as you pull them on,
         the perfect accoutrement
      to your beribboned uniform
   with medals from the Roman,
      Babylonian, Egyptian campaigns,
your two-edged sword grasped
tightly in your hand . . .
   . . .so tear open the heavens
   and come storming down, to plant
         those boots precisely
      where we are convinced they
            are needed;

but instead, once again,
   (to our embarrassment? disgust?)

you pull on your waders,
   towing that rowboat behind you,
      picking up all those folks
      left behind when the
         stock market dams burst

you take your wellies
         out of the mudroom,
   heading out to the barn
      to feed all those
      we forget in our frenzied
          gorging on more,
        mucking out the floors
        of our hearts to make room
   for the little One;

your faded and scuffed slippers
fit comfortably around your
   as you get up and put
      the kettle on,
         putting a plate
      of cookies on the table,
   pointing us to the chair,
         'why don't you sit
         down and tell me
     all about it?'

(c) 2011  Thom M. Shuman

Thursday, November 10, 2011

the talent show (Matt. 25:14-30)

as the brown truck
pulled away from the
      i picked up
      the box left
         on the porch, 
   and recognizing the
      return address,
            i immediately
         repackaged it in
              foil and
     plastic wrap, placing
   it in the bottom of the
       basement freezer,
           knowing no thief
     would look for faith

when i found the
   present way at the back
      of all the ones
         under the tree,
   and saw whose name
        was on the gift tag,
     i told the rest of the
          family i'd open
          it after dinner,
   but while everyone was
   dozing off in front of
      the tv, i carried it
         up to the attic,
    and hung grace way in
       the back of Aunt Maude's
          wardrobe that's been
      in the family for decades;

standing at the counter,
   my back blocking your view,
          as you told me, 'cream
           and two sugars,'
      i added something else
         to your tea, and when
   you fell asleep, i picked
           you up and carried
       you out into the night,
     hiding you in the compost
          of my fears
             and doubts,
   hoping you would never

(c) 2011 Thom M. Shuman