Put on the new self

October 17, 2013

Twenty-five years after Praying the Prayer,
when my new life was supposed to snap in place
like elastic, the smell of crisp, store-rack cotton
propelling me to run with endurance
toward a finish line I could not see,

I lie on the couch with a sour-smelling terrier
curled in the crook of my leg. Today
I will bathe him, punch through three Keurig cups,
run a trumpet book to the grammar school.
No martyrdom here, no preaching in the streets,
though tomorrow I might plant another bag of daffodils
so in April I can kneel in the gold
and thank All Things New once more.

But now I turn my eyes to things above
in the window, squirrels gibbering in the canopy
of my backyard maple. I doze and wake
to their claws skittering down the trunk,
mentally etch the face of Christ in the bark.

He doesn’t need me. He wants me.
Neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, tired
nor on fire. I will slip into newness again,
fluff the shaking, sodden dog in His name
as He drapes me with his soft and silent weaving.