Cutting teeth on prophecy (keeping the Sabbath)

Every Sunday after church
Ezekiel’s wheels spun and dazzled
on the kitchen ceiling over their heads
painted there by their words–
I saw them there; those, and angels
with wings covering jewel-toned eyes
chanting “Holy, Holy, Holy,”

and they did not notice,
mom and grandma both
arguing prophecy,
eyes on their bibles
to check each other

for years the thought of eternal damnation
carried with it a scent of tea and honey;
and braided with their voices,
the shout that raises the dead
accompanied by whispers of thin onionskin pages
flipping faster than thought

and both of them smiling at me
reading my bible by dappled Sunday light
of my own volition, neither checking
to see what my 8-year-old self
was reading after church–it was all scripture
and therefore safe

neither realizing
I was memorizing Leviticus

and learning all sorts of ways
to earn stoning

***Yes–I really, really, really did that.  Was not allowed to go outside and play on Sunday afternoons, so I read Leviticus.

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About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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19 Responses to Cutting teeth on prophecy (keeping the Sabbath)

  1. Ian Moone says:

    Good write, afraid I haven’t read much from that book. A hard read for an 8 year old!

    • LOL, well, my other option was to watch my father watch whatever was on TV on those 3 channels… So I learned to entertain myself 🙂 Guess it is safe to say I was precociously deviant 🙂

  2. eulonia says:

    nobody asked me, i’m wading into unfamiliar waters on wordpress late at night during a heatwave, but i think the last line of this poem is unnecessary. i feel like ending it on “ways to earn a stoning” makes and keeps it strong. just my one hundred forty-seven degree heat index thought. 🙂

  3. Sally says:

    What a great poem! I love this!

  4. Rhonda says:

    no wonder you turned to poetry….that’s some scary shit right there! lol

  5. doncarroll says:

    like this and it’s got a great ending:))

  6. nelle says:

    Har, this cracks me up. Perhaps it should be Lascivious instead of Leviticus.

  7. I’ve followed your blog for countless reasons Susan and can honestly relate to some much of your beautiful exclamations of love and philosophy and insights etc… I absolutely loved your poetry on faith, gospel experiences~ This one took my heart! Thank you dear one~Deborah

    • Thank you so much, Deb–glad I finally fessed up to someone(s) besides the One who knows everything what I was reading all those years ago! 🙂

      It really was a beautiful (but also frightening) experience to listen to those two talk scripture…

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