I think of you once a month, Cheryl

at communion

I have to tell you
that the sweetest
dumbest girl
in front of me
swallowed her bread

and I wondered
if she waited
for the juice
she was like me
who couldn’t stomach
the stuff

if she
needed a Cheryl
to pinch her nose,
ward off gags
and upchucks
and whisper
“blood of Christ”


Playing it again with 55 for Real Toads



I put myself in the middle of the hugging,
 reaching, touching, and the patting of little old
 ladies whose vertebrae are currently collapsing.
 Verna is shorter today without her matching hat,
 but still completely color-coded in violet.  She clips 
 her way to the altar, and bumps me. I don't know why,
 but I reach my arm out and touch her left shoulder
 as if to say, you touched me Verna. And after I do
 she turns around to see who it is touching her.
 You can't bump anyone in church and get away with it
 is sort of what I am thinking, although I didn't mind it,
 or my plumber touching the small of my back today. 
 I remember that now. And the fact that I'll probably never 
 see him again because he's moving to Maine. After a  firm
 handshake & a wink he says, "It's my final resting place."

for Quickly

Late to Women’s Fellowship

the miracle was this:
i made it inside
&the snake didn’t bite
me out in the burnt
white wilderness;
this is what i said,
this is what i said.

the miracle was this:
i stopped talking
double-talk to
actually say it right;
i’m barely making it,
no if’s, ands, or but’s,
i’m barely making it.

and one lady’s shoulders
relaxed &i could see it;
&i was freer than free
to eat two slices of
her cold cut sandwich
because i had made it,
because i had made it.

no, i had it all wrong.
the miracle was this:
that while i was nowhere
close to the table but
praying to outrun that snake,
a woman coolly made me
this sandwich.

for Real Toads

San Francisco Sightings

Sunday Inspiration

283867582733054219_e6WXY7w7_b[1]        I accepted an invitation to speak at Women’s Sunday at our church for 4 minutes or so on the topic of basic training in spiritual life.  I was given verses from Revelation, 2 Kings, or James from which to springboard from.  I chose James 4:4-9 to highlight the lesson that differentiating one’s enemy from his/her foe is the key piece of information necessary in winning any game.  I plan to re-tell the story of a fourth grade class of mentally handicapped children who turned the world’s rules of  survival of the fittest upside-down. In acts of humbleness and servanthood these kids deflated the “balloon stomp” mentality many of us operate on.  When it comes to choosing up sides it’s nice to know that God chooses us to be on His team–the one that wins!  Understanding that God’s not playing a game of “gotcha” with us makes it easier to run to Him as opposed to running from Him in failed attempts to hide.