The grandmother of
A half-dozen afro-American children
Who were in my art class
Emphasized a point like this,
“That is a lie,”
(and then she would verbally italicize each word)
“From the pit of Hell.”
I found the phrase both
Pointed and slightly humorous,
As I do now,
But I slipped it into my vocabulary nonetheless.
It comes in handy sometimes.
For instance, there is a lie
(From the pit of Hell)
That I’ve been noticing lately
And that is that: I am alone.
It was my priest-friend who pointed it out
When I was struggling through something.
“I’ll bet you feel very alone right now”
He said, and I stopped, stunned.
It was like the arrow of his phrase
Hit the bulls-eye of my
Heart’s deepest feelings at the moment.
“I’m not alone,” I realized.
“That is a lie (from the pit of Hell).”
Armed with this,
I’ve shot this arrow at different people, always with the same result
When they’re sharing hurts or fears,
“I’ll bet you feel very alone right now,”
Often makes them stop, stunned.
That we’re alone is a lie, though. It’s a lie.
We are not alone.
We have a good God
And each other.
On Monday, when things were rough,
I decided to throw a party.
Because I always try to remember:
No, there are other people, too
And they might be feeling alone, too
And in an age of Facebook,
A party is simply
One e-vite away.
So I set aside a day for a party (and that day is today),
Invited different faces,
And went to the store, yesterday,
To buy some food:
Berries and mangoes and cheeses.
But then I also saw
Garlands and little colored straws and string lights the color of all things vintage
And I was like, “I gots ta Pinterest this place UP!!!!!!!!!!”
But then I realized I didn’t really have enough money
Nor enough time
To make something worthy of the Internet.
Today, though, as the hours inch closer,
I think: maybe that everything
Needs to be picture-perfect is a lie, too.
Probably everyone will be happy
Just to eat a table’s worth of
Cut produce and crackers and chocolate
And talk about their lives
And share about their dreams or memories
Until it’s time to go.
A frenzied chase after idealized appearances
Could distract us from the most important things,
The happiest things:
Relationships. Community. Care. Love.
So, I’ll go home and hang some summertime poetry from the curtain rod
And light some candles
And bring out all of our mismatched glass bowls.
And then I’ll have a party.