Every year my friend Carla invites me to contribute a poem to her Lenten Reflections chapbook, distributed at St. James Presbyterian church. Here's a version of what I sent her last year. Working on it this morning, I thought about adding "what do we bless," to the curse question. But doesn't "to bless" come from the same root as "to wound"? I'll have to do some research...sounds like another poem waiting to be written.


“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored?” – Matthew 5:13

Salt seasons, salt preserves,
looked at through a microscope,
salt blossoms into crystals, gem-like profusions.
Salt stings a wound, though blood itself is salty.
Lot's Wife was turned into salt for looking over her shoulder
at the home she had to leave behind.
“He has a salty tongue,” we say of someone who curses.
Of course the sea is salty. Of course tears are salty.

What do we look back at with longing?
What do we spice up?
What do we curse?
What wounds have we reopened?
When have we tasted blood?
What do we weep for?
What might we preserve?


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  2. Hi again - I was successful. I think I commented yesterday that I learned long ago that the only way salt lost its saltiness was if it was mixed with dirt - something I learned in a Bible study, a fundamental one?

    Also, you are correct when raising children, the world problems take 2nd place. Love, C

  3. Carolynne -- always nice to see you here. I'm not sure what it is with the posts here, though I know I have to be signed into google or even mine won't post.

    I loved your last newsletter, though I was heartbroken to hear about your daughter's horse.

    I will be thinking more about salt. Bethany

  4. I love your stuff, but this one and "Talking Back" are my current favorites. :)

    Definitely speaks to what I'm going through right now, and it gives me something to mull over.

    Now I'll be thinking more about salt too.

  5. Oh, Alice -- thank you. "Talking Back" is one of the relatively few "one bad poem" experiments I've had the nerve to post. Maybe I need to be braver???? Bethany

  6. I like this, it makes me think. One suggestion:

    In the last segment everything begins with "what" except for "When have we tasted blood?" If this was deliberate I'd move that line up one so that it looked more symetrical. Otherwise you could change it to "What blood have we tasted?" or something similar.

    I think you should try that bravery thing, I like your writing style.


  7. Yes, I definitely think you should post more too! :)


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