Poetry Month – April 12, 2024 – On The Altar


What she didn’t know when
she gave me the portable altar filled with
Seven little babies
Thirteen paper cherub cut-outs
Two roses (one dried, one silk)
Four floral twist-ties
Two lightweight red and white wires
One trident gum wrapper (her only residue)
One tiny broken sand dollar
One strand of green tinsel and
A prayer card
I would become a mother
I would know perpetual help
I would count toes and fingers over and over
I would fall on my knees
I would understand holy





So much of my twenties was an experiment. I tried on relationships, living situations, ideas. I called myself lost. I called myself free. I didn’t know what to call myself. I wandered. I was exploring and mapping my own topography. I was charting where I stood. I was looking looking for an edge so I could land on my own two feet. Sometimes we don’t know what we are praying for. Sometimes we don’t know what will change our lives. Sometimes we don’t know what is holy.