Thursday, August 5, 2010

Every Day is Holy

Holy Thurdays undo me.

Not so much the washing
as the offering of self,
the letting others know through
shedding socks and shoes like sin.

It seems a lifetime since
I nightly buffed your old scuffed shoes
and set them by the door,
my small child's way of saying
every day is holy.

Now your old bent feet
cause the years to fall away
like cool dry skin
until I am undone again.

These days if I could,
I'd wash you with my tears;
I'd use my hair to
wipe away our sin.


  1. oh, this is beautifully written. love that last stanza especially. it says so much and carries such heart. hope all is well. have a great night.

  2. As you feel it so it is. That is why this is holy.Laundry and such comes and goes but the thoughts of days like this are sinless ones.

  3. it feels like pure thoughts of love.
    i don't know if it's related or not, but i'm sending my get well wishes for your mother.

  4. Thats a beautiful poem with a wonderful title, I followed the link on Various's Blog and am glad I did!

  5. Reminds me of Magdalene...Cleansing the soul with L O V E...
    Is tehre anthing more beautiful or holy than that?

    Great poem

  6. Soft, like a prayer.

    One of my favorite rituals, foot washing. Especially with whispered words.

  7. first - love what you've done with the place!

    second - wow. this leaves me slack-jawed.

    "Not so much the washing / as the offering of self" - and, it seems to me, not so much the work as how the work changes over time.

    there is such a steady hand of love all the way through, even as time and age seem to bend the roles around - i love that it comes to every day being holy, and how it takes a lifetime to start to fully realize that. just beautiful.

  8. Big round of applause! Karen, this is absolutely beautiful. Everything about it is lovely, from the tone and the rhythm to the love that flows from every stanza. I adore these lines:

    "the letting others know through
    shedding socks and shoes like sin."

    How wonderfully you bring the image of the socks back around to the old bent feet (and the idea of washing feet and service to others). Stanzas three and four take my breath away! topic...but I do hope things are going better for your mom and you lately. Sending more thoughts and prayers your way for good days ahead. Take care, sis.

  9. Shining Dad's Shoes

    Your cordovan shoes
    had a different shiny light
    and a smell like new
    leather even when
    I knew they were old clunkers
    and I've kept the can
    I used, wizened crumbs
    of polish rattle inside
    when I shake it now.

  10. Beautiful. I love the spiritualness of this piece.

  11. Naquillity - Hello! Thanks so much for that!

    TWM - Intention is the key, I think. You are a wise man.

    SzelsoFa - Related, yes, and thank you for your thinking. Every day is a better one.

    Words a Day - Welcome! I'm glad to make your acquaintance. I'll be coming your way soon. Oh, and thanks for the kind words.

    Dearest Person - Believe me! I know.

  12. Dulce - I truly hadn't thought of that Mary, but it makes sense. I like it.

    Shakespeare - It truly "undoes" me.

    joaquin - You always humble me with your careful reading and kind comments. Thank you; thank you. Oh, and I keep fiddling with the colors. Wish I could see them on someone else's screen. Not too too?

    Julie - What I said to joaquin! Thank you, thank you , thank you! My mother is much improved, I think. She seems to be stronger every day. I certainly hope she continues to progress. Being able to help her has indeed felt holy to me. :-)

    christopher - It's been a long time since you dropped a poem blossom on my blog! I love the way you've taken this and made it about your father and your memories that you still hold onto. Very nice.

    Willow - Thanks!

  13. Wow Karen, your new digs are cool! Love it! I love this poem so much. And not because it reminds me that I need to go cut my dad's nails (which I do) but I love the ritual of washing of the feet. It seems so humble and beautiful a gesture, a gesture of giving and compassion. A healing symbol of love and acknowledgement of the path we all walk, the strain we all feel in getting through our days, our lives, and the compassion and devotion of the caretaker who sees the walk, and wants to provide a little comfort to the walker. Oh my dear, I do love this...

  14. Adopting classic imagery for postmodern purposes = one of the best strategies in poetry, imho. :) And you do it so splendidly!

  15. Superb! I like the way the writing is composed through.

  16. Thank you for drawing me to this, Karen.
    A sanctity of a poem, and I may be feeling a little fragile this morning but this really did bring some water to my eyes.

  17. Thanks Karen for sharing this with us at WWP. Participation is nectar.

    Some interesting other poems here too on your blog. I'm being slow as often usual these days - no poem of my own as yet. (oh well... )

    I much like how your very present, real life-experience comes into this poetic expression. That really allows a connection to come in reading this poem. Thanks.


  18. I hardly know what to add to the eloquence above - your poem is absolutely stunningly beautiful, left me breathless actually ... no wonder you have a Mary Oliver quote on your site,your writing quite reminds me of hers ...