Poem: Manna

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Manna

You pull out the paints and spread them over the makeshift table.
It has been a while, too long perhaps for comfort,
long enough that the worms have crawled in, whispering
dirges of abandonment by the very skill you worked so hard to obtain.
You set up the canvas, and begin.

The painting comes easy. It always does,
as do the words you write each day in defiance,
as is the second step (the first is the hardest,
it is as if you are a captive, chained into sluggishness),

Satan, I have come to believe is no snake.
That is PR. Nothing more.
an image of sinewy strength, A circus funhouse
full of mirrors that stretch the truth into something
unrecognizable.

But worm he is. Soft and squirmy,
persistent as long as the earth is soft,
but easily killed, a thing that dries up in the summer sun.

You spread the paints over the makeshift table,
and begin with yellow, the color of truth,
and begin. You sing Sinatra with each brush stroke.
Manna is real.

About this poem

For those who are not of the Christian or Jewish faith, let me explain Manna. in the Bible, the book of Exodus, the Jewish people had broken free of Egypt, where they had been slaves for generations. They were fleeing and had been in the desert for too long. There was no food or water. God gave them Manna, a bread-like substance that appeared each day, just enough for a day.

They could not hoard Manna – it would rot away at the end of the day. But each day fresh Manna would appear. Just enough. No more. The story has become a symbol of trusting God.

There was a time when worried. I was always planning, counter planning, sure the earth would collapse beneath my feet. And when it did? I was utterly unprepared.

The journey back has been one of understanding Manna is real. Grace is sufficient to the day, as our grandmothers used to say. Somehow things work out. There is enough. I am enough. The world around me is enough.

And somehow it always is.

Do I believe in magic? Yes. Do I believe in God? Yes.

Dancing into my Saturday.

Tom

PS – I really did sit down to paint last Saturday, after a hiatus. Completed two paintings. Dancing to Sinatra. Poetry is a strange kind of truth.

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