Wednesday, August 22, 2018

what makes me me

I am from . . .

I am from mountains
who escape the lowlands,
I am from the harsh quiet of my brooding father,
from the soft arms of my grandmother,
from the Rice Krispie candy we would make together,
I am from the smile, the laugh, the giving of my mother,
I am the allure of an angel biscuit, summer transparency applesauce,
one more slice of cake to make it even,

I am from classrooms of enforced quiet
and the desperation in a paperclip on the desk,

I am from the conflict of Matthew and John,
the action of the Sermon on the Mount
and the simple key of John 3.16,

I am from doors opening in the mind, in the heart,
I am from doors closing in the mind, in the heart,

I am from dreams of an immigrant who sought “the city on a hill,”
and could not see the native peoples and yet saw witches in the woods, 
I am dreams of a better future of another immigrant,
I am also from the nightmares that build that future upon slavery,
I am the pestilential swamp that still pulls at us,
I am also the mountains that call us to rise above,

my genes are solely from the northwest of Europe
and then from the huddled tribalism 
of the male, the white, Anglo-Saxon, and Protestant,

my soul is pulled to the glory that is God
that also manifests in difference from the narrowness 
of what seeks to hold me,
for God is so much larger than gender, than color, than religion,

we can only hope to get a glimpse of God
if we open ourselves to grow 
toward the infinity of God’s manifestation.

by Henry H. Walker
August 21, ‘18

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