Thursday, June 16, 2011

Poetry Thursday: A Poem for Trinity Sunday

In thinking of the Trinity and how hard trinitarian theory is for some of us, I thought I'd post this poem.  It uses the metaphor of family to understand a triune God.
I should stress that although I wrote in first person, the voice isn't meant to be autobiographical.  My father didn't rage or throw fits, although our inability to put our stuff away frustrated him.  My mother never cried, at least not in front of us, at the way her children treated her, although our behavior was outrageous enough to drive anyone to tears at times.  The third stanza is autobiographical, but I'm the older sister.

I don't know that this poem represents the way I see God anymore.  It's still accurate in terms of the Holy Spirit, but my view of God the Father has evolved into a relationship with God as a fellow creator.

Still, it's an interesting experiment, and it might spark some insight in you.  Enjoy!

Domestic Trinity

My father’s rages came suddenly, and I cowered,
an Israelite hiding from an angry Yahweh.
He gave our small family extensive rules
and regulations, a strict code of laws so unbendable,
unbreakable that they might as well have been carved
in stone. His wrath exploded out of proportion
to the offense as he swooped
out of his study to confiscate
all toys left in his path.

From my mother, I understood Christ’s pain
at our rejection. I declared that I, unlike Simon Peter,
would never turn my back on Jesus, never disavow
my love. And yet, I betrayed
my mother in much the same way. I insisted
that she put on make-up before chauffeuring
me on my errands. My standard refrain:
“Are you going out looking like that?”
Just my sneering tone of voice drove
my mother to tears.

My older sister didn’t pay any attention
to my horror at her dress code.
She tied the neon orange laces of her camouflage
high tops and bounded to the top of the stairs.
She laughed at my order to change.
“Do you want ice cream or don’t you?”
I reluctantly followed her, let her drive,
accepted her milkshake, and drank
the sweetness of whimsical grace.

No comments: