Could there be a badger Jesus?

You want to hear a resurrection story? I’ll tell you
A resurrection story. I saw a squirrel get squished
In the street. This was on Ash Street, near where a
Family named Penance lives. Things like this rivet
Me. Religions don’t live in churches. Religions are
Not about religion, in the end; they’re vocabularies.
This squirrel got hammered. I mean, a car ran right
Over it, and the car sped down the hill, and I recall
Thinking that some dog would soon be delighted to
Be rolling ecstatically in squirrel oil, but then, even
As I watched, the animal resumed its original shape
And staggered off into the laurel thicket, inarguably
Alive and mobile, if somewhat rattled and unkempt.
Jesus and Lazarus must have known that feeling, of
Being sore in every joint, and utterly totally fixated
On a shower and coffee and a sandwich. Or walnuts,
Depending, I suppose, on species. Our current form
Is a nebulous idea, is what I am trying to say. Could
It be that resurrections are normal and the one we’re
Always going on about in the Christian mythologies
Is only One a long time ago, when there are millions
Per day? Could there be an insect Jesus and a badger
Jesus and a salmon Jesus? Could there be impossible
Zillions of Jesuses? Isn’t that really the whole point?

The other annunciation

What if there was another girl
To whom the angel did not come,
One who said, every day, “I am ready.”
She woke, she dressed, she went to the well
to draw water.

Still no flutter of wings
No gifts delivered in the dark.
No sudden lights.
Just ordinary grit and labor.

She knew the stories—Samuel, Miriam.
The power of, “Here I am.”
She wiped sleep from her eyes.
Readied the day. Waited.

Idling for one minute only

Here is a sign that surely reflects
the Puritan heritage of our college.

For though it is meant for the coaches

that pull up to the curb, disbursing
limbs of basketball players

who loiter at the back of the gym,

I always think it applies to me,
standing here in the new warmth

of the winter sun, watching
the first green tips of grass emerge
from the dampness of the ground.


Thesis: What we commonly think of as Miracles, are mere
Synchronicities, felicitous accidents, startling coincidences;
Whereas that which we call common is actually miraculous.
Whoa; let’s approach this slowly from the side, as we would
Edge up shy and careful to a sleeping wolverine. Wolverines
Are good to start with, come to think of it—I mean, consider
A wolverine carefully. A whopping big one weighs less than
Half the dogs you know, not to mention those two obese cats,
Yet bears and cougars and even the most stupendously stupid
Men back away from wolverines. They have been revered by
People who know them well for years beyond counting. They
Own their place. They were designed by immeasurable years.
There are only a few of them, compared to, for example, ants.
Are they not miraculous? Do they not inspire a reverent awe?
Can any of us make any of those? No? Can it be that miracles
Are things which we cannot comprehend or construct? Hawks,
Elk, porpoises, children, damselflies, quasars—the list cannot
Ever end, because every time we discover something, we also
Discover more that we don’t know yet, isn’t that certainly so?
So that which is miraculous is quotidian. While the occasional
Inexplicable recovery, the avoidance of death and mayhem by
The thinnest of margins, that only happens on occasion, right?
So because it isn’t quotidian, perhaps it isn’t a miracle. Listen,
I know your brain is buzzling right about now—it’s happening
To me too. But the thought that miracles are normal, isn’t that
The cool thought of the day? Let’s remember that until dinner,
You and me, and then savor the miracles with whom we dine.

Holy, holy, holy

How to love the Trinity, its vagueness,
non-sense, God talking to God on the cross?
Theological geometry, stumper of metaphor,
God humbled to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Only when I heard that voice singing Our songs
shall rise to thee did I feel a welling of love
that, at best, visits me occasionally in prayer,
indwelling and expanding within me.
Yes, God, the darkness hideth thee.
Too often as I sit in the pews, nothing
happens. Or worse, Nothing happens,
doubt a scrim over every word I pray,
a tepid mutter of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
But that hymn’s falsetto, surrender, the not-
knowingness of it—Lord, though I can not see,
I did hear a shimmer, some wick in me caught
fire, and fear, that liar, left me, momentarily,
free in the Holy, music, the blessed Trinity.

For S. S.