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Leaving

Retro Church Sign Neon Cross

I left you today.
And I’m certain when I did,
I chipped a tile
From the Mosaic
The fractured Bride of God.

It seems I had no choice
For 25 some-odd years, I’ve watched
The same man
Silver hair and a gold horn
He played it like me
But, safer,
And, you know,

I didn’t.

I fancied myself bombastic
Like James the Less
And, now here I am
No more casseroles to supplant our superficial conversations
You left
Just when you needed me most.

And, so this is what I choose for myself
This fractured daughter of God.

I stuff the change in my cold Armani pocket
And, I hold the door behind me
For you, a stranger
Four gallons of water looped around your fingers
They sway you in the Oklahoma wind
You smile with heartbroken
Ghastly yellow teeth
And, say with Broadway exuberance
My radiator is overheating and
I have to have all this water just to get home!

You twirl oddly in the wind
Talking to the sky
And, I leave you.
Just like everyone else.
And I carry myself, all privilege gone
To a business appointment
Which I want to abandon
To sit with you
In the Oklahoma wind
Cradle you on this prairie
And tell you

Why do we answer questions
No one is asking?
Did you think your sorrow would escape me?
It did not.

Tonight, you’ll cook your crank in a bathtub
But, only after we find a new radiator
Together at a junkyard
Just like my dad had to do a dozen times.
And, I’ll hold you in a rusted automobile
And beat my chest and say
We are having church!

My God, we are having church

But, I am dreaming.
I have missed another opportunity
And, I was missed a dozen times
1,500 lonely days
We beat the crickets off us and watched Kimmy eat a bug.
Survivors. It was so long ago.

The radiator hisses
like the last summer of childhood
Lizard juice and burned rubber
The wishes boiled and smoked
And, I was too proud.
I wanted everyone to read my mind.

But, I would not change it
I am halfway to the skeleton frame
Where I belong.

I am leaving you.
I know.
You were innocent like me.
Keeping appointments
God never intended you to make.

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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8 Comments

  1. Jennifer

     This is one of those posts I forget I wrote — and can’t believe I used that sonofa… line. But, every word of this is still true for me. Thanks for leaving your comment. It means a lot. I love your analysis. It’s spot-on.

    Reply
  2. Dennzio

    Hmmmm…reading this was like listening to some foreign music which I don’t understand, but the melody and the tone are very recognizable and somehow…somewhere interiorly (I know, not a word) this lament beckons me to check my self pity at the door. Not sure how Christ factors in this for those below. Coming to who we are, to recognize the disconnect…yeah that is it. Thanks.

    Reply
  3. jen

    @MOM and @JIM – Sad and depressing. =( I know. I can’t help it. But, I’m working on Part 2 – where Christ never leaves us no matter how messed up we are or become. This is His design and purpose for us. Right?

    Reply
  4. jen

    @CGHILL – I didn’t mean to frighten, and could only hope for despondency. I don’t think it’s possible. I always enjoy your comments. It’s not easy to make someone think about their own work.

    Reply
  5. CGHill

    I’m trying to decide whether this is merely frightening or carefully calculated to induce despondency.

    Reply
  6. Jim Smith

    “Why do we answer questions no one is asking?” Ouch!!!
    You paint a sad but compelling picture with your words. Well done.

    Reply
  7. Anonymous

    Jen–

    PROFOUND!

    I have read and reread this trying to take it all in. Depressing as it is — it is steeped deep in REALITY.

    I cringe when I think of the “Fractured Bride of God” so broken in many respects and I pray continueally for the broken souls and for the fractured sons and daughters of God living in a field of dry bones. YET– There is HOPE in the HEALING BALM of GILEAD.

    Blessing on you dear daughter.

    I love you– Mom

    Reply
  8. Anonymous

    Jen, a wonderful poem. I think you just gave a voice for a lot of people out there that feel the same way. They left the club because of the same reasons. Rob

    Reply

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