Madonna and Child
She walked past the plate glass window
next to where I sat with my friend Bill
in a booth in the worst hamburger joint on the eastern seaboard,
eating a dripping grease burger
covered with melted Velveeta cheese of all things
with fries fresh from a year in the freezer.
She was twelve months pregnant, going on thirteen.
It had to have been her first pregnancy
as young as she was
and as jauntily as she carried herself
down the walk and through the door,
wearing a red spandex top
and navy blue spandex tights,
bringing forth who and how she was
for all to see,
honor, marvel at, rejoice in, worship.
The wonder of the vision
was equal in every way
to the one that stunned the angels
who announced the Messiah’s birth.
And as redemptive.
She redeemed the day, the week, the year, my life,
all of life, forever, throughout all eternity.
And I carry her memory in my heart
to relish and adore
Mary, the mother of God,
ordering a grease burger and
making all things remarkably good
by her presence with us
in the ordinariness of our lives.
What’s It Going To Take?
Once we figure it out,
what are we going to do with it?
What’s Enlightenment going to do for us,
that’s what I’m asking.
The test is not in the knowing,
but in the doing,
in the living.
We have to look at our lives
and live them.
What’s it going to take
to enable us to do that?
What do we need
to step into our lives
and live them
all the way back to bed at night?
the way they ought to be lived,
like we mean it, I mean.
What’s it going to take
to live like we mean it?
Good families don’t pretend to be good families
Don’t strive to do it like it’s supposed to be done,
Don’t have anything to hide,
Or don’t hide what they have to hide,
But live with everything in full view,
Available to be seen and said,
Laughed at, or yelled at, and talked about,
Brought up for review and revision,
Capable of being modified, altered, improved, changed.
Good families can be changed.
They are honest and vulnerable that way.
Bad families are fragile, brittle,
Incapable of self-assessment or self-correction,
They remain stuck, unchanging, forever.
There are people
who want to argue with me
about the possibility of luck.
“There is no such thing as luck!” they say,
when I wish them, “Good Luck!”
“It’s strictly a matter of Providence.”
When I say, “Aren’t we lucky
that God is so Providential?”
they say, “It has nothing to do with luck!”
Clearly, one of us
is missing something,