Cousins make forts of two-by-fours,
unconstructed sanctuary our playground,
serve acorn-crust mud pies on blue stained-glass,
jump rope to the beat of our fathers’ hammers ~ percussion the sound of church
rising ground-up, clouds for a steeple.
Cornerstone planted in red letters,
thick clay caked on our shoes,
all of this grown from an empty tomb
and we wait for something to happen
between walls of Easter-sky blue.
faces familiar, uncles and aunts, once and twice
three times removed,
cinnamon gum in Nanny’s purse
like always but
Mama and Daddy wear Sunday shoes,
all these arms unfurled kites reaching ever higher.
We sing mysteries from red-backed hymnals,
clap along, forget the time.
Those who call me beanpole
cry out with tongues of fire;
voices are sparklers in the air between us.
Papa’s hands pull weeds,
stir macaroni, toss baseballs out back ~
now they anoint foreheads with oil,
crash thunder on a pulpit;
work-worn hands break open bread,
serve endless life.
His feet climb ladders in work boots,
push the porch swing steady,
tread through garden rows ~
now they dance away gravity,
fleet over straight-back pews,
staccato on strings of grace.
Hide-and-seek, seek-and-find ~
everyone is brother and sister.
All of us
at play in the promises.