A Month of Poetry: Seven

by thereisnosurvivorsguide

Faith

 

When I was a child,

I wanted so desperately to

feel the faith

that I saw on TV.

I wanted to sit

around the abundance

link hands

and give thanks

for the overflowing table of food.

Fill up my growing empty.

I wanted my daddy-

any one of my daddies-

to kneel beside my bed with me

and pray for the Lord

to keep me safe at night.

Instead, after Saturday sleep-overs,

I would wait for my friends and their families

on Catholic or Lutheran

church steps, weeping.

Creeping close to the door cracks

trying to absorb Faith.

But the door was closed to me

and the magic never seemed to reach outside.

Later, my mother signed us up

for afterschool bible study

a daycare of sorts.

We prayed, sung, and had snacks,

we inhaled the apple slices

prayed for the worries of children:

food, clothes, shelter, sober parents

but the songs got stuck in my throat

My God is an awesome God, he reigns

was so hard to swallow

as I watched Mrs. Janet

tell the stories of all the felt men.

Abraham sacrificing his son.

Trapped in the Arc with Noah.

Even little David, up against the power,

would soon grow into a man.

A son, a father,

this all powerful male ghost.

The only woman I saw was Mary,

a girl a little older than me.

And her Father must have come

to her in the night too–

they said she didn’t choose sex

but no one could hide her swollen belly

inside the belly, her faith

growing into another

bearded man.