Sunday Morning

As a child, it was a fishbowl.
Any misdeeds in among the
second graders would
reach my mother’s ears
before the benediction
like a miracle.
After, at home, the
were served with a side
dish of solemn reminders to
act like the example I
was ordained to be.

It has, at times, been a job
in my adulthood.
Greeter every first and third
or standing with the altos.
Season after season
of Easter musicals and
Thanksgivings and
Christmas carolings.
One stint on the board, oh
god, and that’s enough
to make the Apostle
Paul lose his religion.  

At times I actually believed it
all. Other times I’ve
seen the whole works
as a chalice filled with
snake oil. God loves me
could be replaced
the following week
with all the reasons
she might not. Even
still, I never felt

My heart still loves
the mystery, though
my sacrament is
usually now a biscuit
and a cup of tea.
What I believe is not
as small as what I know,
but close.
The uncertainty
and unknowing have
grown into the most
beautiful portions of this
holy journey.  

On a Sunday morning,
my face is not likely
to darken any door
unless brunch is being
served. But somehow I still
hold sacred the idea
that I am an example (I
think it’s why I teach). It
gleams as brightly in my
memory as the reflection of
stained glass morning light in
black patent leather shoes.
So I try to do what’s right,
and if they have it,
I’ll order the roast.  

© 2020 Deb Moore,  All Rights Reserved

Every Now is Slippery

Every now is slippery. 

The 15-minute
rendezvous in Cincinnati,
you driving to Michigan,
us heading back south,
hugs and summaries
in a McDonald’s
parking lot,
a shared laugh
that we managed
to pull this off.

Emily rounding the bases
in Denver,
pigtails bouncing.
Vacations home
spent tagging along
on your routine
as if I really lived there
those five days.  

That visit from mom
when she redid
my entire house,
never stopping,
the way she liked it,
and then it was done,
and she left,
and 15 minutes later
I wanted to hug her
and say I love you
and maybe have
a cup of tea. 

I missed
Christmas ‘88,
but no others,
because that was
sacred –
not necessarily holy,
but sacred.
All running together
now in one big
glittery blur,
some asterisked by
an absence
or a change
or a drama. 

So many moments,
each their own
kind of tradition
in the remembering,
but also each
a separate pinpoint
on a timeline.

I want to
hold two-year-old Emily
in my arms,
her dangling feet
bouncing off my thigh,
my back strong
and able.
But she’s 34 now,
no longer the
big-eyed baby
she will always be to me
and will never be again.

I want to lasso
hold a fistful
of water,
the wind.

But time only
moves forward.
Nothing ever
comes back
around again
the same.

Every now is
held for an
instant —
No, not even held,
just slipping,
always slipping

© 2020 Deb Moore, All Rights Reserved

Happy Yule!

Last year about this time I was sitting in the dentist’s chair getting my teeth cleaned.   Or perhaps it should more appropriately be called the dental hygienist’s chair.  I only see my dentist for two minutes every six months when he pops in after my cleaning to ask if I’m having any problems with my teeth.  He’s a jovial kind of guy, a quick hello, a short joke, a few jibs and jabs about current events, and then he’s off to the next cubicle.  I’m not even sure he’s a dentist.  I think he may just network really well and run a teeth-cleaning business.  He’s like a dental pimp with a stable of cute girls with sharp, metal instruments.

Anyhoo, at this particular visit a year ago, something interesting happened.  As Dr. Rodney Dangerfield was finishing his obligatory glance at my pearlies, he stood up to leave the room and gave a cheerful, “Merry Christmas!”  It was so cheerful, in fact, that I think there actually was at least one “Ho” thrown in for good measure.

I smiled back and said with an equal amount of holiday cheer, “Thank you!  Happy Hanukkah!”

The continuous advertisement of his own perfect masticators ended abruptly.  He literally frowned, a playful frown, but a frown nonetheless.   “Uh, . . . well, I’m not Jewish.”

I hesitated not even a second.  “That’s okay.  I’m not Christian, but I took no offense.”

He mumbled something about a root canal and scooted out of the room.

And here we are again, a year later, and here comes the great Merry Christmas debate one more time.   I’ve seen some ugly scenes over the last few years regarding this issue.  A woman at the post office two years ago responded to a “Happy Holidays!” with a venomous “WE say Merry Christmas!”  It was the angriest Merry Christmas I’ve ever heard, and it almost ruined the season for me.  I don’t begrudge anybody their Merry Christmas; I just like to be inclusive.

I have my personal feelings about the religiousness of the holiday season, and I’m savvy enough to recognize that so does everyone else.  Debating the “reason for the season” is rather pointless.  For you, it might be the birth of a baby 2,000 years ago (whom most theologians agree was probably born sometime in August).  For another it might be a Festival of Lights.  For some, it might be the winter solstice and the return of the sun.

Whatever your personal reason, I say offer the greeting of your choice, as long as you do so with joy in your voice, love in your heart, . . . and no point to prove.

Feliz Navidad!