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The Pilgrim

He carefully placed his foot
thoughtfully, deliberately,
in front of the other,
as if
he was walking
on holy ground,
or on a journey
to some profound
diligently pursuing
his passions
into the wilderness.

He sat at the table,
joyfully ill at ease
as if he were
an honored guest
whose welcome came

He lifted
the dark
lovingly made,
to his thankful lips
so many other meals;
the day old
factory made bread
perfectly similar
to every other slice
before being squished
onto the shelves
of the outlet store.

He remembered
happier times
when he would take
the hard sour dough rolls
and a slice of cheese
or apple
that his mother had provided
with him as he disappeared
into the woods
for a day long
childhood hike.

he listened to the clamor
of his brothers and sisters
as he shared a brief smile
with the soup kitchen

A Mid Life Love Poem

It’s harder now
writing love poems
stuck in traffic,
perhaps because
of the constant
sixty miles a day
over the past
six years.

Sixty miles a night
when courting
was so much easier
when the destination
was sweet uncertain
instead of
sweet certain

The two hundred
and forty seventh
meat loaf
is still
as good
as the first
but it is harder
to find
new words
of praise.

The synchronicities
and knowing your beloved’s
before they are spoken
continue to provide
and support
in this messed up world
but it is less astounding now.

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A New Starting Line

starting a new job,
buying a new house,
becoming a parent,
burying a parent:
we cross these thresholds
sometimes blithely,
sometimes bitterly
only after
much struggle,
and sometimes only
when we set our face
to Jerusalem.

There is a certain sadness
of saying goodbye to old friends
that joins our joy
as our new identity emerges
on the new leg of our journey.

We set our faces
towards our next destinations
or at least
our imaginings
of that destination
in our limited
and prepare
for rejection along the way.

It is scary out here
after crossing the threshold
after saying goodbye
to those we love
after setting our hand
to the plow
longing to look back
like Lot’s wife,
but knowing
we can’t.

none of us
is truly fit
for the kingdom of God.

none of us
is truly fit
to so much
as gather the crumbs.

Yet still
Jesus says
“Follow me”.
Yet still
the call is overwhelming
and the finish line is
the new starting line.

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