I Don’t Believe in Much

lilac monarch

Poetry Month, Poem A Day, No. 10

I Don’t Believe in Much

I don’t believe in much
of anything religious I’m
like clay that way waiting
for the right hand to shape
a story from the mound
of possibilities one where I can see
the sense of it from each
angle from above and below
and not see one hole, not one
in the narrative that I would fill
with a ‘But what about?’ or
‘Then, how come?’

I don’t believe in much of what
they taught in religion class, daily
reiterations and interpretations like scales
in a piano lesson convincing me only that they knew
how to practice but they did not know
had they said ‘this is a really good story’ and played
the score back to back with Rogers and Hammerstein’s
Cinderella or Oklahoma then they would have had me
a hero is a hero a plot a plot but they said
that this is all you got, this is it everything all of it the whole
can of beans, this is why everything, and how, and I said
it’s just pretty words and notes, and I still do

I don’t believe in much but I do
believe in miracles for I have witnessed
them again and again from my siblings
and friends who can make something of nothing
make a world of sensual come right out of dirt
dirt!, and I am green like a lilac leaf, in envy
and immaturity, a baby gardener who didn’t tend
my father’s tulips or daffodils or lilies of the valley
I skipped away on a rope or a chalk mural grateful
but too busy to watch him change bulb to vine

I don’t believe in much
but the other day an angel
appeared in my yard with a story
of a girl who wondered all winter
“what could that bush be?”
too busy to ask a sibling or green-thumbed
friend or even to conjure a memory of the master
gardener himself, dad? she just queried
each day from her window sipping
wine looking at the the laundry drying
asking what is that mystery bundle of sticks
so deeply tucked inside the dirt and she’d return
to the repetitive task of writing worlds and worries
when lo and behold right before her eyes
like water wine the whole bit and Lordy Be
there it was a purple party

I don’t believe in much but I do believe
I am the proud owner of a lilac tree.

Image from YouTube, Eliot McLellan


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