Hermitage

Gazing through car windows,
All my possessions thrown
Away. I give up control
Of my life. Tracts of trees
Draw me onward, cleaning
My mind. My heart unshelved.

A room with empty shelves
Greets me. A small window –
Not allowed to open. I clean,
Then unpack, cannot throw
A party. Fifty acres of trees,
Hills, hermitage. Who controls?

This mother-nun, a control
Freak, fills long pantry shelves
And freezers with food. The tree-
House, deer-hunter washes windows,
Fixes furnace and throws
Out evidence. Jesus makes clean.

Dear Lord, please make me clean!
I am a leper, a whore. No control.
“Sin no more.” The priest, oh, I throw
Up! A drunk with Virgin Mary shelved.
Eyes of chapel – you windows –
Do you see him behind trees?

I am drawn to secluded pond, tree
With swing. Mushroom skulls unclean:
Dead babies? See my frost-lined window,
Frozen mind and paths uncontrolled.
Creaking building, slamming doors, shelves
Losing books. I must pass through.

Ritual blessings, holy water thrown.
That’s why Jesus hung upon a tree.
Now his statue sits on my shelf.
I expected to become holy and clean.
All I got was used and controlled.
I see nothing with my heart-window.

The many rooms, windows, circled by trees,
Candle holders on shelves, vases most clean:
My soul controlled, my heart speared through.

Lisa M. Drago enjoys writing nonfiction and poetry with spiritual themes. She particularly loves formal poetry such as sestinas, villanelles and pantoums. She works part-time as a certified fitness instructor and yoga teacher. Her blog can be found at Soaring with God.

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