Cornbread 

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I’ve tried, at least, one hundred cornbread recipes.
One hundred different suggestions
on cornmeal.
One hundred different ingredient measurements.
Self-rising.
Add baking powder and more salt.
Maybe some cornstarch.

I’ve used baking sheets
and when that failed,
pyrex dishes, cake pans,
cast iron skillets.

Really, there was no failure.
Each pone tasted good.
Slathered with soft butter,
it was edible.

And….

it wasn’t her cornbread.

It wasn’t my Granny’s.
It didn’t taste like an apron
that had dried my tears as it
smudged flour on my damp cheeks, or
soft, child bearing hips that would scoot
me out of her way so I didn’t
get burned.

It didn’t taste like sitting at her
dinner table and sneaking a bite
while the love of her life said grace.

My cornbread doesn’t taste like home.

But, if I’m lucky, my cornbread will taste
like home for someone else.

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we hid under the stairs

We hid under the stairs.

Before that, you were so focused:
deep breaths between each
number counted out loud,
pushing your blonde head
against my chin,
scripting yourself
into favorite books
“It’s in my story, see?
Silas is brave and gives blood.”

Then it was over.

“I’m done.”
You fled the room to the nearest
dark, quiet space.
I found you,
knees against your chest
head down,
heaving breaths,
in the corner.

I sat beside you, not touching.
Seconds turned to minutes
and I found a spiderweb
above our heads.
My fingers found grit in the space
where the wall meets the floor.

Five minutes turned to fifteen.
Fifteen turned to thirty.
“I’m sorry, mom. I ran.”
And you reached for me.

“I am brave.”

silas

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Three thoughts for the Church

i.

Don’t ask how I feel.

Explaining
the bitter, swirling
hurricane
will only cause
regret.

ii.

I can’t comprehend
my Jesus and
your Jesus
as the same person.

Don’t tell me my
theology is wrong.
or that my misinterpretation
of scripture will send me to hell.

Even good King James’
translation is clear on the matter:

Jesus said unto him, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

iii.

Silence can never be misquoted,
but we all know that
actions speak.

Our silent inaction will
haunt the recesses of my brain,
and the four corners
of this Church,
as our hands become bound
by money changers
who forge our scraped up
pennies into
their golden calf
they call God.

*italics from Matthew 22:37-39

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Wednesday Morning Prayer

I do not assume
his heart stance,
but I pray You pour Your holy conviction
on his heart and soul and mind.
He claims You, but…
actions speak loudly.
I hope that wisdom is spoken,
and heard, from somewhere.
That vanity and vengeance are
put aside.
I pray that Your will be done,
and I recognize that You operate
outside my comprehension.

Lord, remind us.

We, Your followers, do not need
christian men-leaders for Your
will to be done.
We survived Herod and Nero.
Jesus survived his own people.
He survived death.

Remind us.

Your kingdom grows daily because of
faithful disciples who claim Your promise of
“I am with you always. Even unto
the end of the world.”

Not Christian presidents.

Remind us.

That when we
feed the poor,
help the sick,
welcome a stranger
that we are Your hands and feet.
We further Your kingdom when we
care for the “least of these.”

Remind us.

It does not take
an executive order
to love You with all our heart,
all our soul,
all our minds,
and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Remind us…

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a pilgrim’s progress

Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.

my cry is welcome.
You never discourage
my tears. my attempts at
righteousness, often
lead to failure.

the black weight
of sack cloth and ash
grief sits like a puzzle box
(with no key)
on my ribs.
breath shallow,
all too real.

From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

there is little progress (it seems).
at least my feeble grip has
lasted in this scree
and blistering sun.
my knees and palms
grow gray and blood stained
at Your (forceful) leading.

following You is not
always
pretty.

For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.

an invitation:
“leave your grief
puzzle box with Me.”

parched lungs
expand.

 I will abide in thy tabernacle forever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah. For thou, O God, hast heard my vows: thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name.

*italics lines from Psalm 61, KJV

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a wanderer’s prayer

sometimes i wander,
bare feet on firm soil.
or ice. occasionally,
severe rocks that threaten
twisted ankles and dreadful
falls.

but when i am afraid,
i will put my trust in You.

a woman
wearing strength
and weakness in
unbalanced measure.
the scales tipping forth and back
daily. or hourly.

…by the minute…

You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in Your bottle.

promises read,
believed.
the constant force of
free will:
choosing one path
over another and
stumbling to raise
stone after stone.

For You have rescued me from death;
You have kept my feet from slipping.

draw me home.
to Glory.

to You.

*italics lines from Psalm 56, New Living Translation

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for the first time…

I have been bitten by the hiking bug. Dave has been bitten by the hiking bug. We decided it was time the boys were bit as well. We found a trail that was relatively short (1.5 miles total) and that had a payoff (waterfall and playing in the creek). The Rock Bridge trail was going to be our maiden voyage as a family and we were ALL excited.


We packed a picnic with the boys favorite drinks and sandwiches, good bread, our favorite deli counter meats and cheeses, chips, and pineapple and headed out the door at 9:09 a.m.  Silas was ready and kept repeating “Let’s do this adventure!”


The trail starts and ends at the Rock Bridge picnic area. There are several picnic tables in somewhat private areas and we scoped one out for our lunch picnic. The trail starts going downhill almost immediately. It is mostly paved and steps are carved into stone.

Silas charged ahead wanting to be the leader, but GreyMan was a little unsure of his footing at first and wanted to hold Dave’s hand.


But after a little while, GreyMan felt more confident and he and Silas took turns being the leader.


The first half of the trail, all the way to the waterfall and Rock Bridge is mainly flat and downhill, so we had no complaints and actually had to make sure they slowed down a couple times because they got ahead of us. They stopped and looked at leaves and bugs and spider webs. They laughed and squealed and clapped their hands. We had FUN.

Then we came to the waterfall.


We played for almost an hour before Elijah fell and busted his chin. I was very thankful that I carry a first aid kit and at least three bandanas when I hike. We got dried off quickly and cleaned up as best we could. Silas was concerned about Elijah’s chin, but was afraid we wouldn’t get to eat our picnic.

We made the decision that if Elijah wasn’t bleeding we’d still eat our picnic before heading home and to the E.R.


The trail back to the car was pretty much a steady uphill climb. The boys were troopers, but Elijah was a bit whiny. But I get it. He had just hurt himself, was a little freaked out because mom was a little freaked out, and he had to leave the waterfall. But no one had to be carried and thankfully Elijah was not bleeding.


So we picnicked quickly (boy did those kids put away the food!) then loaded up and headed back home.

Five minutes on the road and they were out.


We dropped Silas and Dave off at home and went to the hospital.


They got him cleaned upend glued shut pretty quickly (with lots of tears and needing to be held down).

So while the day included a trip to the ER, I’m glad we went. The boys had fun and we know they can physically handle that distance of hiking.

We’ll be back, rock bridge. We’ll be back.

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