a child of the church,
i never knew how not to apologize.
i grew to be wrong in every bone.
as the ward of the willful saints, i knew how amuck
my sins had run, how much like the charging
of the papal bulls were those skewering pulpit eyes.
and when i lodged in that sepulcher of confessions,
a lonely cross and me at odds against the God
of every punishment,
i churned up the four-letter words i made, every scraped knee,
everything that reminded me of being a child
better practiced in mistakes than grace.
would you believe i am still that child?
haunted by my unhinged humanity. but this i have
made my own, in some thirty years
at odds with church: what i confess is
beautiful now, a full-throated symphony of yes
to good deeds willful done, and smiles that
prop up the crooked day; i love yous
sung without a song; petting dogs with weary
eyes, and even, yes, even laundry done unawares.
oh yes, yes, yes—let those who have ears, let them hear
and let this be my confession now:
i am the good that stretches heart to bone!
the self that somehow teems with grace.