Some days God is warm nearness.
She is all at once
kindling a fire in the wood stove,
filling my bowl with steaming broth,
kneading the bread,
carrying my worries in a bundle on her back,
turning back the quilt on a soft bed,
and singing me to sleep
in the tiny cabin that we share.
Other days I fend her off.
“I have no time for you today!” I say in her general direction.
Emails. Laundry. Diapers. Netflix.
I think to God I am a toddler.
Cute. Full of passion. Stubborn as anything.
When I wake up scared in the night
and when I trip on the ragged edges of things,
I demand her nearness,
shouting myself hoarse until she lifts me up close to her face.
When it comes to putting on socks
or holding dripping spoonfuls of yogurt,
I push her hand firmly away.
I will do this life all by myself.
How often does she sigh and shake her head at me?
Is that a smile at the edges of her mouth?
Do you feel pain?
Do you gag and heave with polluted watersheds?
Do you scream in agony with clearcut forests and eroded mountainsides?