Laetare

I don’t like the stupid part

of being a disciple –

how you have to learn

the same lessons again and again,

fight the same fights,

and offer the same apologies

thirty years in a row.

I’m sick to death

of thinking I get it –

feeling contrite at Mass,

all that wet-eyed resolve

and the light shining on

just the right window

at just the right time –

until you’re again coughing, after,

over your coffee, sputtering

your justifications and wondering

secretly if God Himself is not choking,

ready finally to keep His promise

and spit you from His mouth!

I saw God

Well, no, a man

at church.

He held his baby boy

close to his chest,

and his daughter followed.

Oh that baby, I know,

he’ll light up and

strike out,

and dad’ll be pissed,

and when the sword is slashing

there’s cutting all around.

But through it all

there’s this:

the embrace,

and the watching eye

of the girl.