I ask Father Joe what grace means

This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Cassidy Jensen.                                                                                                        

I ask Father Joe what grace means

He tells me it radiates, over time.
A stone dropped in still water.

There are as many types of love
As trees I don’t know the names of,
But I can tell you the shapes of the leaves.

This year I am learning how to be.

I count my blessings –
the flowering trees,
the long leaf pine,
tea with honey for my throat.

Sanctified: new soap, a floor mopped with bleach.
Consecrated: haircuts and the intimacy of it, the trust of it all.
Sacred: family not of blood, who let me run my mouth.

I begin, slowly, slowly to let go of perfection.
To be, with help, more open, lighter.
I am ready to spill over with hot water love.

But now the rain trembles the leaves,
The sky beats with more urgency.

You can’t hide out here –
not how my legs ache, not how my
heart strums in my throat in the same painful way
my clumsy fingers make guitar strings vibrate, late at night,
too loud in a sleeping house. All burning.

Grace is a rippling,
More significant with every splash.

Each gift, including pain,
reaches out again and again
until it touches shore.

 


Cassidy Jensen is a Jesuit Volunteer in Raleigh, N.C., where she is serving as a paralegal at the Farmworker Unit of Legal Aid of North Carolina. Her writing has appeared in the Georgetown Voice, Washington City Paper, TalkPoverty and Street Sense. She graduated in 2018 from Georgetown University. More of her writing can be found here.

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