This is longer than most but I tried to tell a story.
Absently she opens the Word, flips pages
as cries of her baby in the delivery room
peals into tears and her tear drops plummet
on the verses as a chaplain helped her weep good-bye
to Sandy in ICU… so many years ago
and so few seconds ago. She gazes at the splotched page,
blankly turns through thousands of years of
humans rejoicing and weeping, celebrating and mourning.
She looks at her plants, green fountains on the backyard porch,
so still this August morning. She sighs,
lifts her palms then lowers them on the kitchen table.
She finds John, turns to the 11th chapter
To what she underlined (God knows when) and pours over
I am the resurrection and the life. She shuts her eyes,
drapes her heart, and whispers “Wait for me.”
He drives to the Habitat job site that Saturday morning.
He thinks “Jesus, it’s ninety in the shade.”
He hears sweat draining from teams of men and women
who slide four by eight ply boards across the trusses
and line them parallel on the roof ribs. “Nail ’em!”
Hammers batter, and as he drives his nails,
they puncture hands and feet.
A drop of blood swells from his thumb.
He smears his thumbprint on a beam.
Once a weekend in her basement,
she devotes an hour praying in the dim.
Her guide, Evagrius Ponticus, teaches
the mind is an Armageddon.
Hoards of thoughts attack as she silently chants
God… is… love… God… is…love…
A dark voice whispers, “Liar, He took Sandy.”
She breathes deeply and prays God…is…love…
He enters the sanctuary.
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty plays
while his mind shuttles from nailing ply boards
to his barren apartment, dishes fused together in the sink
and an empty six-pack that consumed him last night.
“Need to quit those damn smokes,”
murmurs between “blessed Trinity” and “Amen.”
The pastor leads a prayer and asks all to join hands.
He reaches, clasps her hand as he beholds
a stained-glass Messiah dabbing those eastward
with green and yellow and red streaks,
and he feels his heart strangely warmed.
His eyes well, as does hers.
For once, they are not alone.