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Blue Monday: Tree Hugger

Student artwork at a Yuma County, Arizona high school

A tree-hugging bird is a sight
That you can see only in light,
For like you and me
The bird in the tree
Finds comfort in sleeping at night.

Photo and limerick © 2018 by Magical Mystical Teacher

My Father’s Blessing

When I toddled into the kitchen one Saturday morning,
my father was eating breakfast.
I stared at him, rubbing my eyes in astonishment.
“You comed back!” I exclaimed.
He opened his arms and I ran to him,
not quite believing he was real
until his arms closed around me
and he nuzzled my face with his stubbly cheek,
ten thousand tiny whiskers prickling my skin.
Dad was a student minister then,
and I saw him only on weekends.
He spent the week in Denver, studying theology,
then on Friday night he rode the bus back home
to our lonely outpost somewhere in Kansas.
His absence was like the absence of God:
“He’s there, but you just can’t see him,”
my father explained.
When he was older and wiser,
my father shocked me by saying,
“I don’t need to defend God;
God can take care of himself.”
He put his Bible on the bookshelf
and started preaching from The Denver Post.
One day he raged that another convicted murderer
had been executed in a neighboring state’s electric chair.
He ended his sermon on Sunday with a question:
“Would Jesus Christ pull the switch?”
Of all my father’s sermons,
I remember only this fragment,
and I hold on to it fiercely,
the way I once held the blessed bread
of Holy Communion, so I wouldn’t drop it,
or the way my young father held me
when he came home on weekends,
nuzzling my face with his stubbly cheek,
ten thousand tiny whiskers prickling my skin.

© 2016 by Magical Mystical Teacher

Recalcitrant Student

Because he did not want to learn,
His lessons the student did spurn.
He cast sidelong looks
At all of his books—
His homework he tossed in an urn.


© 2010 by Magical Mystical Teacher
More A Prompt Each Day: “Recalcitrant”