Poem: stained glass sky


(Illustration by Sylvia Freeman | Staff Illustrator)


A lonely hill in Ohiopyle a low lying brick wall in Schenley Park a grass front yard in Batavia Illinois no matter where I am this land provides a platform to view the sky above it so I do not waste my time worshipping under steeples only as tall as donations can build when I could stand in a lavender field under cirrus verses on a hilltop eye to eye with cumulus prophecies


the sky is not an angry god and while we all live beneath her she does not exist to remind us of the risks of our choices for while she speaks in sunsets she rises every morning despite the day before a constant reminder of another chance


god is still speaking and this sermon is not silent it is preaching in muted lilacs and violets the scriptures are not small enough to fit into one book they are as enormous as the ocean and I read them as the last rays of the sunset turn the waves pink and golden


remember this is an audience with god no one else has seen my same collection of sunsets to know why this one is holy and although my confession booth is as wide as the horizon can open her legs this is intimate this is my moment to feel real and alive and surreal and minuscule and invincible and ethereal all at once   


no sky is a false deity and while no two moments of a sunset ever look identical it is always the same sky it is always the same god and no matter where I go on this earth all I ever need to do to return to the light is look up and I will be welcomed home by the same sky that smiled on me when I was born in Aurora Illinois the same sky that I watched halfway around the world in Kyoto Japan the same sky that will be with me until the day I return back to the clouds