Monday, September 16, 2019

Patricia Deaton's "The Year We Lost Ourselves" after Mona Woody




Patricia Deaton photographed beside the Mona Woody painting that inspired her poem at Alexander County Library on July 13, 2019.

THE YEAR WE LOST OURSELVES
by Patricia Deaton
after Dream Up by Mona Woody


She was gone in March, unexpectedly.
We collectively missed her; 
the mother, daughter, wife, sister,
cousin and grandmother of two
who eventually wouldn’t remember her at all.

Without warning, no more of her laughter
or self-deprecating humor; no one to ask 
when her helpful heart gave out. 

We tried to celebrate the birthdays that came.
Without her, our cheer rang hollow, especially 
on her own birthday. Then on her son’s,
who gulped and smiled through his bewilderment. 

Easter, and the little ones wore rabbit ears
hid plastic eggs, a surprise in each. We knew 
we would never be surprised again by anything.

Mother’s Day lasted a thousand days.
Fireworks on the 4th lit our faces 
hollow-eyed and reverent in a shower of light
that disappeared like sparks going out.

On Halloween, no one wanted to participate.
No trick could match Death’s trick. No treat, enough.

We bowed to Thanksgiving and Christmas, still
couldn’t say that she had died. Instead we said
When she was sick or when that happened to her
as if she had miraculously made it through 
and we weren’t all changed forever.


Monday, September 9, 2019

Betty O'Hearn's "Touching Digits" after Chris Parsons






TOUCHING DIGITS
by Betty O’Hearn
after Different and Yet the Same
by Northview Middle School 6th Grade Students
                                                                  with teacher Chris Parsons
         

If only more of them touched.
If only more of you cared.
If only there was not so much hate.

We need to listen to their pain.
We need to reach out.
We need to show more tenderness.

It doesn’t matter if they are strange.
It doesn’t matter if they are soiled.
It doesn’t matter if they are unusual.

If only we touched each other more.
We need to touch a stranger’s digits.
Just reach out, and spread your love!


Monday, September 2, 2019

Melissa Hager's "Stained" after Paul Sink




STAINED
by Melissa Hager
after Paul Sink’s Open Doors Lead
                           to New Experiences of Community


Hundreds of meals dished, donated
Trader Joe's steaks ground to make
meatloaf. Buttered bread, baskets
passed back for more. Big people,
little people, homeless on the streets,
community surviving day by day
on handouts, shared cigarettes.
Mary in the kitchen works
magic on beef, stewed cabbage,
fluffy biscuits. Sherrill mans the pans,
baking sheets filled with golden
topped delicacies. Amy directs
serving bowls; knows every square
inch available on countertops to fill.
Served home-style, the closest
many will get. All said and devoured,
kitchen to clean, mats to carry
out and wash. Later notice stains
on T-shirt, pray they will wash
away. But they don't; meat grease
marks its territory for keeps.
Then, like grandma refusing to wash
window fingerprints left from grandbaby
visits, decide to like imperfections.
Testimony for the day the body of Christ
was served on the streets. Of His damaged
hands, bloodstains, a great sacrifice.
Amen, amen.


-for Haywood Street Congregation, Asheville, NC

Patricia Deaton's "The Year We Lost Ourselves" after Mona Woody

Patricia Deaton photographed beside the Mona Woody painting that inspired her poem at Alexander County Library on July 13, 2019. ...