An Ordinary Sundayby Laura Foley
On Sunday, I sing in a church choir, not believing
in God, but holding a space for something—
some might call it spirit, an opening,
a candle illuminating a cave.
On Sunday, I climb the hill behind our house,
as the long winter thaws, and my dogs dig in wet loam.
I wait for worries to relax their hold, for my mind
to become one with the clouds’ calm drifting,
the trilling of a stream rushing somewhere unseen.
We need, I think, to let ourselves soften around hurt,
before we melt, like spring snow, into fields—
so, I let Dad in, decades past his death,
find a few good memories, like stones just soft enough
for polishing—him filling the green glass vaporizer nightly,
so I wouldn’t get sick, in the hot, dry air of my childhood winters;
Dad donning an apron to cook for his skinny teen.
I breathe in the care and nourishment he offered then,
and I receive today, on an ordinary Sunday.
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"An Ordinary Sunday" was first published in Valparaiso Poetry Review.
Laura Foley is the author of seven poetry collections. Why I Never Finished My Dissertation received a starred Kirkus Review, was among their top poetry books of 2019, and won an Eric Hoffer Award. Her collection It's This is forthcoming from Salmon Press. Her poems have won numerous awards, and national recognition—read by Garrison Keillor on Writers Almanac; appearing in Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry. Laura lives with her wife among Vermont hills. www.lauradaviesfoley.com