Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Eighth Dance of Christmas: Irreverent Solemnity of the Holy Mother of God

The Eighth Dance of Christmas: Irreverent Solemnity of the Holy Mother of God

It feels like New Year's Day to me,
but the church tells me it's something more (or less)
than football, hangovers, and black-eyed peas (a southern thang ya'll).

Jenny, my youngest, tells me that she needs a car
because she'll only be schooling half a day next term
and working the other half. 

"Holy Mother of God!!!" I exclaim, with some sauce (and extra points).
She doesn't get the irony.
I'm off to a good start on this first day of all the rest. 

"How do you think you'll pay for this?!" I start the guilting,
forgetting all my vows and prayers 
and the sweeter thoughts of midnight past. 

"I've saved up $2,000 from my job"
Damn. Really?
I don't deserve a kid like this. Or much of anything I else I have.

I don't deserve a second chance, more like the twentieth by now.
I don't deserve these eyes, this voice, this hunger,
or the vintage Doc Martens from the charity shop on Bayswater.

I don't deserve to have read Dante, or Chaucer,
Or Cervantes or the scroll version of On the Road.
Or to have sat on a bench in Pamplona and felt loved,
or something like.

I don't deserve this new day, this breathe,this song, this dance,
this bread offered again today,
after months and months of angers and unforgivingness.

Comes the words of grace from an angel.
Followed by the other from the old man--
a sword shall pierce your own heart also, just in case you were thinking

that being the mother of God or the follower of the rabbi
meant escape from anything. It doesn't.
No one ever escapes anything ultimately.

Hot coals, labor pains, the one you love turned cold,
rejection, regret, being a pain in the butt to the protestants,
even the sweetest kids finally rip or are ripped away.

Holy Mother of God. To thee do we cry.
With thee do we dance.
Now and at the hour of our death. 

We eat at House of Hunan New Year's Day,
Desperate for a fortune that will fit.
My cookies tell me nothing but "You appreciate art and music."

The waitress comes with the bill and finds me downhearted.
She smiles and says, "buy a car for your daughter, and say thank you 
to 365 people for being gifts you can never deserve. More water?"
Holy Mother of God.



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