Sanctuary

Let this home be

a sanctuary

where all who enter feel peaceful

and safe.

Let these young souls

be grown

on Mama’s bread, Daddy’s music.

Let their feet grow big

beneath soft, worn quilts.

Let them find me in the morning

in that hand-sewn apron

they made me for Mother’s Day

some years ago.

Let them outgrow their shoes

and grow into their opinions

inside walls that are stained

with their scribbles and scrapes.

Let them know the grooves

of these floors

like they know

the look that I give

when they’re noisy in church.

Let this home be

our sanctuary

that lives within us

as we live within it.

And when they come back

years and years from now

let them find that

same peace

same love

same feeling

that says,

right here —

you always belong.

 

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Coffee with my honey by the sunny window

Coffee with my honey by the sunny window

It’s a standing morning date

My legs draped over him like a familiar, comfy quilt with the worn seam that you don’t want mended

His smiling eyes, they speak to me a language only we know

A language learned slowly, syllable by syllable

starting that first night in December when the air turned cool

Coffee with my honey by the sunny window

Same place, every day by the always-smudged glass

and the toy-spotted rug and

the barstools where children and crumbs like to gather

Ten years we’ve been walking this road hand in hand,

yet I am always in awe

of the way prayers are answered.

I reach over in the night

to touch his shoulder while he is sleeping

to make sure he’s still there, still real, still mine

to say thank you in the darkness for the man

who is my light

Coffee with my honey by the sunny window.

Feed the mama

Feed the mama

red potatoes from the earth

yellow-orange butter from cows on green pastures.

Give her books to devour

with ideas she digests a syllable at a time

to see how they taste.

Feed the mama

friends in the afternoon

cups of coffee, babies nursing

girl, I’ve been there, too

Give her letters from her grandmother

love poems from her true love

hand-written in the steam of smudged shower glass.

Tell her sit down a moment —

those dishes will wait

patiently, even

if you give them a chance.

Feed her

moments of quiet where

all she can hear

is the longing, hopeful prayer in her heart.

Give her a corner to craft in;

a garden to dig

a bathtub to sink in her toes.

Feed the mama

the soul food of generations

stories of her heritage

the inheritance of her past.

Give her the hands of women

who have been there before her;

helping her up,

cheering her on.

Feed the mama

a diet of wholeness

with what nourishes her body,

and the baby at her breast;

the tired toddler at her knee;

the growing boy at her side

who looks more and more

like his Daddy each day.

Feed the mama —

plant her close by the water,

with roots that grow deep and firm in the stream.

Give her sunshine on her cheeks,

a Spring rain shower on her shoulders

as she walks barefoot to the mailbox

on a Wednesday evening.

Feed the mama,

take care of the caretaker,

for she is what she eats

and she gives what she is.

Feed the mama,

feed her well,

let her be full of love.

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Come to the table hungry

Come to the table hungry,

to be filled with apple pie and grape wine

stories of great-grandparents who look on with pride

from the frames hung there on the wall.

Come to the table hungry,

thankful for hands that are able

to roll pie crust and grasp each other in grace

holding children who prefer to eat off your plate.

Come to the table hungry,

To be fed with what’s consumed by the heart

showing gratitude in action over a hot stove

to delight in the work that made it all worth it.

Come to the table hungry,

and be filled with all that you need.

The ones you love sitting shoulder to shoulder

passing on nothing short of a miracle,

like potatoes

and babies

and traditions to share.

Come to the table hungry,

to be nourished by what needs to be known.

To be thankful

in these moments we have.

Let’s sit a bit longer —

it all goes too fast.

Come to the table hungry.

Love lives here

Love lives here,

within these walls smeared with peanut butter fingerprints

and crooked frames.

I tend to this sanctuary, as maker of the home,

baking bread that wafts through the hallways like incense.

I have never been employed in a more important role;

The maker who makes the place

who makes us who we are.

I build this nest while building souls,

two jobs so entwined, they are hard to distinguish.

Love lives here,

Its presence is known — bringing rules to the house

that I hope to impose:

be patient

be kind

keep no record of wrongs

protect

trust

and persevere.

Love lives here.

Under this roof, I am planting roots

that keep us grounded.

And as my children grow and stretch tall to the sky,

they will know what nourishes them.

In a world that asks what will you make of yourself,

There is nothing small in making a home

that makes the peace of the world.

Love lives here.

It always will,

as years fade into another.

As children grow and go on their own,

they will turn by the tree where the wildflowers grow,

For what will be then has always been,

Love lives here.

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