Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Flood: Day 24 of 31 Days of Falling by Faith

Other than attending Mass this morning, I've been hibernating most of the day, aiming for a Monday morning work deadline. My eyes and hands and mind are ready for sleep, so there's no time on this 24th day of blogging to sink my teeth into the latest chapter of the book I've been digesting here this week, Dawn Eden's My Peace I Give You. Instead, I'm going to share something I previously published elsewhere.

From 2004 to 2007, I processed a lot of what I was experiencing, thinking, and feeling by writing poetry. In December 2007, I chose 18 of those poems, matched them with an assortment of photos I'd taken during those same years, laid them out as a booklet in Publisher, printed it out on my inkjet printer, and sent it to a friend as a Christmas gift. Earlier this year I agreed to help several people self-publish books through Amazon's CreateSpace service, which I'd never used before. I decided to use my collection of poems, Redemption Songs, as a guinea pig. The book has been sitting on Amazon for several months now, with one nice review written by a Starbucks acquaintance who graciously bought and read it and shared it with his wife. I haven't sold a copy in months. Most of the time I forget it's there.

All of the book's poems were written in the few years before I returned to the Catholic Church. The final poem, which I've decided to share here, may be my favorite. When I read it now, five years later, I can see how afraid I was then, and how hungry for repentance and salvation, and I'm reminded how grateful I am that I wasn't too late. Here is that poem, written and dedicated to a friend named John in November 2007:

The Flood
It is as though you are
on the ark—learning how
to feed the animals, how
to live in a small space,
and how to wait for
God’s timing—
and I am outside,
whipped and whetted
by the whirling
waters rising around
my broken heartbeats
and reaching arms,
spitting out the sharp
shards of shattered
suppositions that
land in my mouth
when I gasp for air or
cry out to be let in,
still smelling the
sweet sweat of our
lost land while the
wailful winds peal.
Now and then you
reach out a hand but
the current is strong
and I feel too late
to take it.

Amen.

"The Flood" is © 2012 by Alice S. Morrow Rowan. All rights reserved.

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