Your Love In My Pocket

I’ve got your love in my pocket, ready

for when I get nervous at church,

unsure how to talk to good people.

When I was younger I kept it chained

’round my neck like a locket,

shiny and pretty good-looking.

Ask me, I dared you, sincerely,

bold in an ignorant way;

now I’m more wise and less happy

and I’ve got much less to say.

Pain helped me shut up and listen

and distrust the glistening things

and ignore the rambunctious laughter

and cherish the caged bird who sings.

Then I wore your love like a bracelet,

dangling, obstructing my actions, and

right in the middle of everything.

That made me stop and be patient

enough to be present in more things

but still threatened when in a crowd,

your love vulnerable to their thieving.

At some point my hands quit performing

and found themselves needing a cave,

a warm place to rest and be restless,

a hiding spot, sheltered and safe.

So I’ve got your love in my pocket,

ready to hold my hand tightly.

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Hearted

Got a little older, got a little colder;

There goes that easy enthusiasm.

It never spilled–it seeped out slowly:

One day I realized I was lying on the floor,

With no idea what to do next,

Thoughtless.

 

Mad monsters made you meaner

Than you ever imagined you being.

You realized you don’t smile at strangers

Anymore–no energy.

You used to wonder what was wrong

With everyone.

 

There’s some audible hollowness

When you tap on these chests

When you’re looking for sturdiness, anywhere.

The drywall is thin

And scuffed up, and holey,

But–standing.

 

Hard-hearted or broken-hearted:

In a cracked and shattering place like this one,

That’s all there is.

Plans

My plans are wilting, petal by petal.

I never should have planted them in you.

Perhaps you were a seasonal soil

not meant to host a plunging root.

I thought your garden was eternal,

and that my plans were bearing fruit;

but we were becoming autumnal.

Winter was but coming soon.

 

Now wilting, withering, shrinking some,

less flowered and with duller shading,

my plans need help from the green thumb;

if something’s growing, something’s fading.

There’s strong temptation to succumb

to frost; these winter winds are blazing.

Yet I’ve been told of kingdom come

and gardens made for re-creating.

 

I’m all uprooted, dangling, vulnerable,

still waiting for that other garden;

meanwhile, blooming, flourishing, comfortable,

your plans grow up, your roots dig in.

It’s good. In fact, I know it’s beautiful,

this fertile ground that you’ve been given.

My plans are wilting, slow, unnoticeable,

but from their death, new life is rising.

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. John 12:24