A white farm boy turned poet
turned professor cruising the aisles
of the local goodwill with
a two foot black ceramic Jesus
in his shopping cart—
A gift for my stepmom, I explain
to the mocha-skinned grandmother
whose blue-eyed daughters
were about to snag it before I did.
We all agree it’s beautiful.
I don’t tell them my step-mom’s
black and catholic: two things I’m not,
though only one is obvious
as they linger awhile by my cart,
their smiles sad but forgiving,
praising their fragile messiah for what
I hope they know will be the last time.
Image by: Jim Wallace