Vulnerability Looks Like Grace


I checked the pot
Over and over again
And they weren’t ready
The nouns, the verbs, the words
They needed salt and light
And time, grace to grow
Space to separate then blend
Oh friend,
Patiently I stirred with an old wooden spoon
Swirling clockwise and counter
You know in the folds of your soul, when they are ready
To share

These took longer,they required
Time, it stood still
The hallmark of the moment
Generosity of minutes moved, yet frozen
The gentle branding of the transaction
Between two
Women sharing sips of soul-filled words
Vulnerable, the two

I asked if I could spill over
About the woman with the spirit of generosity
Of heart
Of honesty and humility and second chances
And when we are our most human
Our most vulnerable
You with me and I with you
A sacred thread runs through
The space and time
We are dusted by the holy
Threaded artists we

I tell you my ache, my pain
And question deep the need to rest

You tell me of your winsome brave wild and wonderful
You know we can do better than we have
I tell you I want to write a song
You tell me that I can
And we are in a ping pong match of words
Vulnerability fuels that flame

And you re-tell
A second chance
For me, the first
A chance meeting, one on one
Eyeball to eyeball, soul to soul
We speak encouragement

And I am marked forever
By the chance
Or was it God-ordained

I hope I stirred it long enough
And let it simmer, taste and see that
He is good

You are a joy
And I,  a grateful saint

Who learned what
Generosity, sensitivity
And brave can taste like
Poured out from the lips of one kindred
Spirit, Flesh, and Bone

Vulnerability looks like grace
With a soulful artist’s heart

Doors with cut out crosses


This poem is dedicated to Joy Thigpen at Joy Thigpen dot com who taught me much about the making of art– and rivers and margins and more at Allume 2013.

11 thoughts on “Vulnerability Looks Like Grace

  1. It’s as though I could hear your heartbeat through these words. I have a bunch of words in a pot that I keep checking — words for my talk at the SDG retreat. Thank you for showing me that it’s okay that they aren’t ready quite yet.

  2. this is beautiful, this is powerful, and amazing.

    I too have a pot of words, words that I’ve slowly been pouring out, words that I was worried might be a bit too al dente to serve up. Thank you for permission. ❤

  3. oh, Elizabeth! I don’t think I’ve every had a poem written TO me before! Thank you so much. Thank you for continuing our conversation. It’s as beautiful as it began. I like being “humans dusted by the holy”…. Thank you for writing.

  4. “humans dusted by the holy”… I found the lines it reminded me of…
    “The secret
    of this journey is to let the wind
    Blow it’s dust all over your body,
    To let it go on blowing, to step lightly, lightly…”
    -James Wright, “The Journey”

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