Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Poetry Tuesday: "The Precious Nature of Junk"

For today's Poetry Tuesday, I present a poem which envisions God as an old woman. This poem first appeared in Interdisciplinary Humanities.

The Precious Nature of Junk

If God is an old woman,
She uses no recipe.
Long ago she learned
what she needed to know:
how to make do with scarce
resources, how to create successful
substitutions, how to create
magic from simple kitchen chemistry.

If God is an old woman,
She saves all our old clothes. She alone
has a vision of a collage of cloth.
She cuts new shapes out of our discards
and pieces them into an intricate quilt,
even though she knows we will fail
to appreciate her demonstrated skill.

If God is an old woman,
She longs for closer connection.
She sends cards for every occasion
and fills the answering machine with cryptic
messages. She has such important
information to pass on and such little
time left. We listen
and wonder at her mental state.

If God is an old woman,
She knows that everything could have a larger
purpose. She hoards items we’d have discarded
long ago. She understands the precious
nature of junk.

I wrote this poem in my on-going attempt to see God in different ways. I grew up in a church that was fairly traditional in the way it portrayed God: God as father, God as King, God as Ruler of the World. What a revelation to later discover some of the passages of the Bible which envisions God as a mother bird, God as a knitter of our bones. I've tried to continue that tradition here, while trying to choose images that enlarge our vision of God.

If you like this work, be sure to check out Lynn Domina's latest book, Framed in Silence (order here).

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