I was Much Afraid too

brown deer near tree
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My sister prodded.
She was brave
charging through boundaries
turning carts of questions
safely hidden in my head.

I knew why.
I knew.

It was an assumption-
I’d get married. Have kids…
do whatever my parents did.
It weighed on me,
even at ten.
This idea that I would acquiesce my life
accepting my fearful identity.

At sixteen
I heard the Shepherd sing.
It was time to go.
Time to take hold
of those strange hands
Sorrow and Suffering.

Familiar strong hands
pressed over my mouth.

I was so afraid.
I knew fear
and how to appease him.
I knew how to keep myself
in his limits.

All the way home from that
trysting place
I trembled at the thought
of facing my friends-
I was so afraid.
I hid in the backseat.
Petrified into a migraine.

Years passed.
In a fog,
this isn’t where he
promised to take me.
Nowhere near places higher.
Sinking in depression’s mire.

Maybe it had all been a lie.
Maybe I should have stayed
with that Craven Fear guy.

But didn’t she go through this too?
Didn’t she make it through?

I sometimes picture the Shepherd’s face
all jolly, head back
mouth ajar with a hearty laugh.
And I chuckle.

He sure is doing a “preposterous thing”
turning weak, fearful me
into one with stag’s feet-
leaping to precarious heights,
descending freely to the least.

A call for the aged

person on bench
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What will you do
when your face frowns
deep creases grow
and you’ve lost your youthful glow?

What when bladders can no longer contain
what for years
you emptied in a private latrine?

Now your hands are crippled
aged bones.
Now your muscular thighs
give out from your stroke.
Now you look up from your
stooped stance
squinting to find
an image you did not expect.

Time and death have take their toll.
Cell by cell you’re broken and old.
Now what of those fancy clothes?
What of those cars and trips?
What of years spent on prominence?

Where can you go when you can’t go
without help?
What will you do when you can no longer
get up and move?

Years have been given to love God and others
and now that your body is breaking down
how will you cash in all your stock dividends?

Come now, you who cannot speak without slur
or walk without dragging your foot.
Come you grey heads and broken minds.
Come you laying down to die.
Come buy without money or health
the broken body of Christ
has bought for you life.