Friday, December 15, 2017

Poetry Friday: "Advent Alienation"

Writing time is short this morning.  I was looking for an Advent poem to post, and I found one that I forgot writing.  The properties function tells me that I wrote it in 2011.  The details in the poem remind me of the times when my suburban church went to the inner city church to help serve meals, so 2011 seems about the right time.

I think it holds up well.  It's published for the first time here:

Advent Alienation

We prepare the royal highway
by going to the inner city
church to serve dinner to the homeless.

I serve pie with whipped cream,
coffee for a cold night. I pass
out scarves crocheted by comfortable women.

A voice cries out to the concrete canyons
of the city, “God knew
you before he created the Cosmos.”

Then the man slips back into slurry
speech, muttering incoherently about marriage
and wanting a glass of wine.

He says that the angels
will kiss his cheeks in Paradise,
and I’ll be present.

Not fully present now, I think
of my children safe at home,
my husband there to tuck them into bed.

I think of our roof with its leak
which seems insolvable,
but now I’m grateful for a roof of any kind.

I think of presents left to wrap,
a tree to decorate, a few last hectic
days at work, and a trip home.

I bless us all, gathered
in the chapel for Vespers, resident
aliens in this land of gaudy wealth.

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