Distracted Driving

In a big blue Dodge pickup in front of me
I can see the back of his black baseball cap
Her blond ponytail swaying
He reaches over and tickles her neck
She squirms
I can’t see the smiles, can’t hear the giggles
But I feel it, I know
They lean together and apart
Moving like young people
Like young people in easy love
Then he runs a red light


[In memoriam: Sandra Annette Bland (February 7, 1987 – July 13, 2015)]

I can feel her
Doing what she can
To fight the depression
Defy the discouragement
Control the rage

She takes a job in southern Texas
Southern Texas! Saints preserve us
Almost there and she is pulled over

Pulled over for no good reason
And one bad one
Told to put out her cigarette
Her cigarette in her car

I can feel her
If I let it start, it will never stop
No, just no

I can feel her
Threatened, grabbed, thrown down

I can feel her
Protesting, screaming, crying

I can feel her
Then in a cell

I can feel her
Remember her
Mourn her
Though I am white

Every time. Every time
I change lanes without signaling
I think, “Sandra Bland”
And then,
“I am white though.”

The Lord’s Prayer – More or Less

Creator God
Loving Mother and Father
Sustaining Spirit
My truest home
With me but not of me
Holy and wholly different
Grant me Your grace
To live embodying Your love
For all of Your creation
Each one of Your creatures
(myself included)
Nourish me each day
With Your sufficient, sustaining grace
Forgive my falterings and failings
Look lovingly on me
So that I may look lovingly on all others
Even those whom I feel do me wrong
Protect me from my demons
From doubt, depression, despair
From rage and bitterness
Protect me from all evil
Within and without
Please let it be so
Sovereign Creator
Omnipotent Redeemer
Glorious Lady Wisdom
From everlasting to everlasting

How All Events Do Conspire

Arrowhead spruce
Pointed to pierce heaven
Frame a pyramid mountain
Enticing but unchosen
Not our destination
As we drive the gray road
We follow directions
With clear intent
We will stop at our friends’ home

But this world pays no attention
To our puny plans
God-made and human-made
Equally ignore us
Conspire to stop us
Fallen trees and power lines
Turn us back
Forcing a retreat