haibun
A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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September 2006, vol 2 no 3

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Dru Philippou

Return to the Table

They are pure of spirit and not of poverty. And James is there, son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and the Lord names them Boanerges, Sons of Thunder. They know the line, the hook and the net and love the sea. Here comes Thomas and Matthew, followed by Paul and Barnabus. Soon the twelve men settle at the table, enjoying the fish, wine, and bread. And the Lord blesses them, Judas, too, and the tiny fruit of the desert. Verily, he loves.

The Father leans back in his chair, "shushing" his children to silence for the Thanksgiving prayer. He turns to the stone face of his wife, his hard-pressed guests, and the long evening ahead. He makes the sign of the cross over the gallimaufry and chants Te Deum. With an immense effort, he makes himself into a man of light. That he becomes love is enough.

I’m in the kitchen filling pies with fresh blackberries, raspberries, and gooseberries. I stare past the jug of Zinnias on the sill out into nature. I take a census of birds. The Grosbeaks, Say’s Phoebes, and Magpies. I name trees. The Alligator Junipers, Gambel Oaks, and Chokecherries. I memorize plants. The Gloriosas, Wolfberries, and Kinnikinicks. The thing is, I have this five-year old grandchild, Mina, who’s coming to visit, and I must connect her to everything that's love.

sun clears the ridge
communal eating bowl
filling quietly with light