Nonpracticing isn’t Faithlessness

A Lenten Poem for those Exiting Institutions

There were no ashes on my forehead

as my arms soothed a hiccuping baby.

Interrupting cries were our lullaby;

wombs and not sacraments,

skin to skin rather than dust to dust,

“The Fire Next Time” as liturgy .

What if God’s voice didn’t

skulk newborns as they fall

asleep on embracing shoulders and palms,

and saved wasn’t spoken as safety’s epithet.

What if we imagined God as safe?

I picture feet that run towards gardens

instead of heavens

while fingers twirl hair as lips hum

last night’s sweetest dreams;

might we now remember them

fermented in our bones as healthy roots?

Our anchors close to water,

and our hearts lighter.

Prayer might be a verb and not a place,

neighbor a person and not an idea

and trust not forged from repair?

Repair for “Ukrainian girl” as a trending porn market.

Repair for hating trans kids.

Repair for white

amnesia

supremacy

economies

hierarchies

celebrations

recreations of its selves.

Would this God care about wombs

as extensions of lives that can live

and that already exist;

as homes and as someone’s insides,

as nourishment, and existence

that isn’t self replenishing.

Worship could not equate to care,

and faith couldn’t be a party favor to distribute.

There’d be inquiry.

There’d be rejection.

There’d be inspection.

There’d be reflection.

There’d be inspiration.

There’d be posing, still.

There’d be returned habits.

There’d be holy texts, and no final word.

There’d be continuous conversation with God, and probably less aha moments.

We’d tell the truth to children,

and listen to their differing truths.

We’d receive wisdom teachers,

and we’d list our bodies first.

Bodies can remember their dreams

have become anchors,

and their bones string enough to stretch

deep into the groundedness of our insides.

Watch how a baby

trusts their back to arch

unweighted by gravity

or even the fear of it.

They learned what their bodies

can do under water

swimming in wombs,

gaining size

that moves towards openings

that bring forth depths.

They don’t resist them.

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Amanda Lindamood

Writer. Thinker. Facilitator. Advocate. Invested in accountability for power based violence, creative initiatives, and meaningful, nuanced dialoguing.