Convicts and conduits of strange grace
gather – here.
Vessels of whispered enormity.
The once small farmer, an absentee,
a tax collector of trailer-park fees.
His treasures in talents and lilies of these,
he considers the kingdom buried among thieves.
The klonopin-eyed sharecropper,
and the third-shift misfit
mother, with shrunken clothes.
They all call this – home.
Their doors are unlocked to the dangerous hollow.
Inside, a solace abides … no sanity.
Gravel cast, clay packed streets,
orange from the iron, mirror of mica-schist.
Clear view of the clear cut,
Her kids aren’t safe here
with the neighbors’ children.
Two-year-old racing on the big wheel
with bent axle.
Obstacle course with no exit,
double-wide and twice as small.
Possibilities are as pristine – here,
as the smudge print on the porthole window.
Grace is angled, earthen, and unadorned.
God is the landless and the landlord.
The pickled, jarring light
of the broken lamp.
Is watching and receding
in the pleats of the tin wall.
Fabricated and fixed
by the hands of the third shift.
His jerry-built awakening
There, on the bending slats of the back stoop,
some stifled, stuttering bush
And here, my hackneyed spectacled brother
and the kick-start cough of his salvaged scooter,
now sputtering, turns.
A boorish beatitude
throttles every hallowed harbinger
of our lotteried lives.
The cactus in the cut-bank.
The black-bag brimming with beer cans.
Sit scattered on this,
on our hand-me-down horizons.
CALEB PUSEY is a psychotherapist and outdoor educator living in Asheville, NC. His first poems were tacit prayers. He started writing them down and found God along the way. His other work has appeared in Patheos Public Square. He holds a Master in Divinity and Master of Arts in Counseling from Wake Forest University. He is also a graduate of Carson Newman University where he received the Paul D. Brewer Prize for Theological Research and Writing.