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I cannot draw
but I did
my best to gild
the functional canvas of
his
field-trip lunch sacks
with apple trees and
iron gates and
atoms and books.

(It was the only way
I could be
there and anyway
PB&J
is boring enough.)

The truth wasn’t,
though.
Needed neither apples nor atoms
to make it
any more
there
but we can’t help
ourselves with
such scintillating sin.

(We save our
sharpest
crayons for the
cleanest
lines of our
deepest
fears.)

Still
I wanted to draw
that Sunday,
as someone stood
in your stead,
the way you were:
hands raised in blessing
bouncing on your feet
so willing to
love
us and me and them and
him
as God so
loved
the world
with, surely, angels
at your side and behind
and around.

But I could only
see a darkness
billow from
organ pipes
to claim your shadow,
sneak from
under choir robes
wrap your wrists
(again)
in chains and
the laughter couldn’t’ve
been yours because you
were screaming
as its claws sunk beneath
your soul.

So instead
I wept
because I have such trouble
drawing hands.