Thursday, February 24, 2011

A general apology

The Apostle Paul, versatile saint,
became all things to all men
so that by all means he might win some.

As for me, I have enough trouble
just being myself. Sometimes it seems
that I have become no one to no person
so that by all means I might
get more sleep.

I owe you all an apology.

I’m sorry, first,
to you, my love,
for not being more consistently
romantic submissive sweet;
for falling asleep during the stories;
for shining at times when I should
fade; for becoming invisible
when you need me stellar.

To you, my children,
when instead of being a sage,
I am merely a clown; for not
being as smart as you thought
I was (I knew you’d find out
one day); for losing some of
the memories; for growing too tired
too soon.

To you, my grandchildren,
for my lack of bright ideas,
my wrong choice of movies;
for old stories that are, of course,
boring, boring; for not being
plump and grey and aproned and
rosy-cheeked; for losing the rules
to Mexican Train and eating the chocolates
behind your backs.

To you, my sisters and brothers,
members of the household of faith,
for being a wimpy elder—age without
wisdom; for my waffling and uncertain
stride; for a whimper when you needed
a clarion call; for not calling;
for a seeming shrug when you needed
an action plan; for being neither prophet,
priest nor pastor; for my day-dreams
of defecting to the Catholics; for my
restless doubts and clawing prayers.

To you, my neighbors,
for not learning your names; for not
bringing you chocolate chip cookies;
for not praying for your salvation; for
not knowing, not knowing, not

To you, distant neighbors in Afghanistan,
for seeing my problems as larger than
yours; for not seeing that my problems
contribute to yours; for not sending
money clothes medicine—or for sending
them as a guilt offering; for my lack of tears
and my resounding silence.

To you, my Lord,
for being so intimate I forget
to tremble or being so busy about your work
I ignore you; for inattention even when
in your presence; for starving my spirit
while seated at your banquet table;
for not looking at the world
through your eyes;
for being so underwhelmed
so often.

To One and all,
a general apology.
Forgive me.

1 comment:

  1. I just read this for the third time. I read it aloud to Mark. I loved how it flowed so freely and how it made me chuckle and get all animated. I could just hear you thinking it, experiencing it, getting it, and getting it down on paper. It lightened my Sunday afternoon. By the way, I accept your apology. On the other hand, you haven't neglected me. You write these wonderful poems and pieces. Thank you, thank you.