As Jesus Walked

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“Remember the little church where Dad preached
that walking with Jesus was an adventure?”
my sister Rachel asks after the funeral.
Fearful that she is going to become maudlin,
I turn my face to the wall and say nothing.
“Come on,” she pleads. “Don’t you remember?”
 
“What if I do? Then what?”
 
“There is no ‘what,’” she says. “I just feel
so lost and alone now that Dad’s gone,
and I thought that remembering something concrete
from his preacher days might help both of us.”
 
“Well, you thought wrong!” I snap. “I’m
not looking for signs and wonders
to multiply like loaves and fishes.
I don’t need a myriad reassurances
that Dad has gone to some so-called ‘better place.’
There is no better place.
Wherever I am is the place.
He’ll be with me in Mexico when I stumble, weeping,
through the cobbled streets of San Miguel,
and when I come back and circle the block on my morning walk—
if you let him go.
Free him from the prison of your memory
so that he can walk with me
as Jesus walked with his disciples by the sea.”
 

© 2011 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 

More Thursday Poets’ Rally, Week 53 here
 
More The Sunday Whirl, Wordle 24 here
 
More The Poetry Pantry #69 here

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Posted on October 2, 2011, in church, disciple, Jesus, my poetry, poetry, The Poetry Pantry, The Sunday Whirl, Thursday Poets' Rally. Bookmark the permalink. 36 Comments.

  1. The memory of her father will always stay with her no matter where she goes. Well wordled.

  2. Thanks for sharing this. It leaves one with very powerful feelings.

  3. I like it, it’s very honest. Interesting how memories can sometimes hold all of us back. Also here is grief being dealt differently by two people. Despite the tone of the narrator, there is no bitterness there but determination to keep a love one in one’s mind without dragging on the past. Thanks for your poem.

  4. Like the way you handled this one, the little quibble and bickering between brother and sister is so very normal. Behind all that irritation, evading the truth of the point or question by raising irrelevant objections,hides a concern there !! These lines are all the answers rolled up into one!!
    “if you let him go.
    Free him from the prison of your memory
    so that he can walk with me
    as Jesus walked with his disciples by the sea.”

  5. Well,now … this is the second day in a row that I am seeing the word wordle. Yesterday I thought it must have been a typo. Now I have to check it out. Your poem opened so easily within me. I miss my own father so very much. For a short time your well wrought poem … gave him back to me. So, your poem was actually a gift. Thank you.

    • magicalmysticalteacher

      You’re welcome! I’m glad that I was able (unwittingly, of course) to be part of the gifting process.

  6. “There is no better place.” Deeo honesty of feeling drives this piece.

    There is a Zen story about two monks walking, one stops to carry a beautifully dressed woman over a mud puddle. They continue for some way and the other asks him, “How can you lift a beautiful woman and be true to your path?” The first monk says, “I set her down miles ago, it is you who carries her still.”
    🙂

  7. I really got “into” this poem – two perspectives, two ways of dealing with grief. So well done.

  8. this is concrete and extraordinary.

    🙂

  9. I’m still processing my Father’s passing so this spoke volumes to me. Thank you.

  10. There is sincere feeling in this poem often words cannot help at all.

  11. I like the realness of this conversation. I echo what Ravenblack says.

  12. An excellent use of the wordle words.

    I particularly liked –
    “I’m not looking for signs and wonders
    to multiply like loaves and fishes.”

    Nice writing!

  13. Very nice. An emotional message with positive feel, but pleasant memory could never be a prison.

  14. You have no idea how much this helped me today. I’ve been missing my mother who passed away ten months ago unexpectedly. Beautifully written.

  15. Interesting & immediate. I like the everyday theme (sibling quarreling, dealing with death) in the moment of defensiveness, defiance, while we watch a raw nerve come full circle. nice.

  16. A very interesting write. Approaching the situation from two different perspectives. Nicely done!
    http://charleslmashburn.wordpress.com/2011/10/05/treasure/

  17. Wonderful realism ! Love the last 3 lines !

  18. Very powerful piece.

  19. I agree… our loved ones live on through memories.

  20. In her memories will stay the images and memories of her Father no matter where she goes in this world well done and beautiful
    http://gatelesspassage.com/2011/10/05/today%e2%80%99s-feelings/

  21. A lovely way to hold memories, my friend.

  22. Very powerful. There’s so much going on here. I really identified with wanting to “say nothing” and being pushed to talk. I’ve snapped at people like that. It was very real for me. And there’s so much that you left unsaid that resonates about these two siblings. A strong write with those wordle words, which I didn’t even notice as I was reading.

    Richard

  23. Give her an answer in your next beautiful thoughts.

  24. Oh, I do like this one :-°

    if you let him go.
    Free him from the prison of your memory
    so that he can walk with me
    as Jesus walked with his disciples by the sea.

    Nice strong ending. Thanks.

  25. This is lovely my friend and so true.

    Melanie

  26. Painful but somehow beautiful and smart words… Greatly done!

  27. A lovely story, full of wisdom

  28. Beautiful and realistic–wise too.

  29. dramatic, well done.

    Happy Rally.

  30. This is so beautiful…to walk with Truth instead of theorize. Beautiful reflection on the closeness of those we love who’ve moved on.

  31. I wonder if you wrote this in a real situation, because it shows what people say and what they really feel. I like how you conveyed the feeling of loss in raw terms, rather than the flowery writing people usually use.

  32. Greetings:

    Hope all is well.

    Noting that you have won the perfect poet award for week 58,
    what an achievement, thanks for your outstanding contribution to us
    along the way, keep up the excellence. Best!

    Come join our poetry rallyby Friday if you wish to mingle and get inspired!

    A poem of your choice or a free verse is accepted.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

    Looking forward to seeing you share.
    Respect and hugs.
    xoxox

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