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The Precipitation of Peace

The rain this afternoon fell like a curtain of shards.
Water, like razors, pattering through glistening leaves
onto bright buttons of emerging flesh made brilliant by the torrent.

Clasping a mug filled with strawberry-dandelion brew,
That became a chalice, a tiny newborn in my cupped hands.

“Mary held all these things in her heart.” I thought,
Feeling how much like Mary, not Christ, I yearn to be.

Enlarge my heart, God, to hold the terrors, the tragedies I’d prefer to dismiss.
I want to be like Mary. Not her baby.
No flashy suicide for me.

Give me the quiet bravery that can bear seeing life I have borne being destroyed.

Grant me courage to take up another’s child when the light has gone out of my daughter’s eyes.
Let another Mary take her then when I am overwhelmed.

Let me not play favorites even with my own flesh.
Let me see my dying abused infant in every inconsolable troublemaker I encounter.

Let me seduce them by my presence only.
May I never lay a hand on them in upset or delight.

Let my gaze be healing, transmitting peace.

Let me be firmly entrenched in this muddled, angry world,
not set apart in glowing white robes.
I do not wish to be transfigured.

May I always clasp a clay cup as if it were a child before I step out in faded attire to blend into the multitude.

Let my swollen, bruised heart always find room for another’s misplaced fury.
When someone hurls their pain at me, let me take the hit.

God, keep leading me to be victorious with my aggressors that we all might win together without ever landing any punches.

Let my heart hold more suffering.

Let the rain beat down to smooth out the soreness. I feel my heart expanding in the damp.