Blood-red, crimson poured, bruised and slashed,
cross-crisscrossed, tissue, nerve and sinew,
Sacred threads bleeding, “Father, forgive them— ”
Thorn and nail, sin and curse,
opposing timbers track and soak rivulets, tears ruby-red,
Heaving heavy, breaths sucked searing,
rising, falling, out of joint, lots cast, seamless prize,
a Savior’s scream, “My God, my God, why— ”
Creeping clouds, shake the thunder,
separated sun, temple veil top to bottom, human veil rent,
Pale, drained dry,
a Spirit’s surrender: “It is finished.”
Daddy was not one to cry needlessly, but when his kids were injured, sick, or received unfair treatment, he cried. When we made tacky Father’s Day cards, blue eyes misted. When he dropped me at college tears fell, and when I lost my baby, though miles away, in my heart I know he cried.
Once sitting in the airport waiting to board, the family started a round of good-byes. Daddy cried. I cried. Soon everyone was crying.
“He started it!” I blurted, pretending to lay blame. I was right. He did.
Overwhelmed with emotion, I made my way to the restroom to freshen up. I knew something was wrong when I saw the urinals. My eyes had been so blurry, I’d stumbled into the men’s restroom. At least now everyone was laughing.
Daddy is older now, his broad muscular body weakened from disease. But Daddy still has tears. He still…
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My teacher for eight grades in the one-room school could be harsh–ice pick harsh to a tender poetic soul. Some students let her criticisms sail far above their heads; others let them buffet their egos and then matched the thrown brick, brick for brick. They didn’t learn as well, but their self-esteem was protected by a hardened shell and iron will. They survived.
Me–well, I functioned, but the kind of function that winces at hard words; the kind that functions day by day but realizes I will never be good enough; the kind of function that sucks in a hint of a compliment and lets my guard down just enough for the next shot across the bow.
The teachers’ college would send us student teachers from time to time, and many came with apprehension, given that AL’s reputation was known far and wide. I remember one unlucky lad who riled…
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