Several creeped-out hours later,
aghast at the hope in his shining eyes,
I swallowed my willies instead of dinner
and shook silently in my boots as we slid back in time to the nearest town
and it’s deserted main street theatre
still sticky with soda from the seventies
and wondered if we were breaking some villiage curfew
as a weary woman took our tickets
then trudged upstairs to start the projector.
I gnawed on milk duds and shoved air from my chest
past a swelling sense of foreboding.
As the volcano rumbled through the mildewy darkness
and rattled ancient worn seats
a deep disquiet rattled me.
I was afraid of this oppressive place
where milk duds stuck together in dusty boxes
and the quiet clanged like piercing sirens
down the dark streets of my soul.
I was surprised by the size and power
of my fear.
(I found my voice;
we didn’t move.)
Many miles later,
mostly falling forward,
my spirit has some muscle where I once shoveled duds,
teeth clenched like jaws of life
on things that disappeared.
Slowly, awkwardly, imperfectly
I learned to go into the quiet
and God was there
and I listened for the light.
Now in this season
Dante dread is stirred and stalking
~here comes that fear again
(not the helpful warning when I’m leaning into stupid
but the tormenting stuff that lurks behind lies
and smoke and mirrors).
Do it again, my soul.
Scoop and bail like stormwater,
Sling… hurl… dance it out.
Peel it off like leeches from stagnant water
and stuff it into song,
and fire off into the night sky
to explode into it’s true colors
and watch the wisps float down like ash
and blow away the bits like dandelion fluff
~heavy doors blown off hinges
by a gentle, easy puff.
Because I was never meant to slink
I was born with wings
and even when they tremble
a whispered “yes” to life and grace and flight
opens to the light
and it’s enough
oh yes….it is enough.