Searching For The Divine

Once you have had your fill of seeking

the holy in arched stone sanctuaries

and the sacred gardens of the cloistered,

you must look for the divine in uncomfortable

and unexpected places : in the eyes of caged

dogs thrown out and left behind at the Humane

Society, the hands of the old lady at the food

counter who has just discovered she is thirty

cents shy of the cost for a loaf of day-old bread.

You must look into the face of the toothless

man chopping vegetables at the all-night soup

kitchen and admit that sometimes there's more

grace being handed out in a whorehouse than

in the tent revivals on the other side of town.

You must look at the debris in the dumpster

Behind the mall and in places less exotic: daisies

Growing out behind the barn, the fragrance

In the yard just after the lawn has been mowed.

The smile your grandmother gave the day she

tasted your mother's first attempt at the recipe

for potato salad with homemade mayonnaise, and

the sounds the house makes when it's midnight

and you're still awake. Go back to the day you

moved your old-maid aunt to the nursing home

and closed down her house despite her protests

and tears. You must learn the hard way that what is

holy lives in the heart of everything that really matters.

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