Wings Will Come: Journey – Part 4 “For now”

My mom started packing as soon as my dad accepted the job offer that would take my parents and my grandfather across the country to Arizona. The transition from the old status quo of the house to “Box World” was a constant reminder of the change happening around me, and it retaught me a lesson I thought I’d known: the home with which God blessed me is not in the building, but in the people by whom I have always been surrounded with love and grace.
 
Next week, I continue the story of my family’s move and God’s goodness in the change in the fifth poem of my collection, “Wings Will Come: Journey.”
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
“For now”
To Mom
 
each time I step
into another room of the house,
another familiar piece is
missing. your hands move quickly,
snatching the clutter of knick-knacks
off shelves and tabletops. When I blink,
the statues and ornaments and little
pictures have vanished into packing paper
and cardboard boxes.
 
it is this piecemeal transition that tricks me.
I prop up yet on
my heart in an open locket I know
I’ll have to give away someday.
 
as the boxes pile higher over the furniture,
shadowing windows and the old ways,
I realize no knick-knack matters,
the boxes become the new familiar
because it is you and your love and
generosity that fill the house,
covering boxes and empty shelves.
you are still home
for now.
 
 
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For now by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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Wings Will Come: Journey – Part 3 “Origami wings”

When my dad accepted a new job offer across the country last year, I learned to celebrate the journey even though I wasn’t the one embarking on it. It isn’t easy to do, but whether you are watching a loved one move, a child go to college, or parting ways for the final journey of all, I believe that in the Spirit’s grace and wisdom, we can find the strength to say our farewells with hope and love.
 
In this third poem from my collection “Wings Will Come: Journey,” I reflected on the day that my dad took his leap of faith, starting a whirlwind of events that I’ll continue to share next week with the fourth poem in the collection.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
 

“Origami wings”
To Dad
 
the job offer is an origami crane
that can’t move,
a shelf ornament made in dreaming.
then, echoing through cool spring
air, I hear 
the wings move.
      you move.
 
I sit still, suddenly 
the shelf-sitter,
fragile as rice paper while you
take to the air and shake off
the dust.
shock flattens me.
I am a paper leaf, 
blank and white.
 
I want to fly with you,
I want to stay, want you
to stay,
but your wings are finally
moving and right now life
is what matters.
so I muster a breath of air
to lift you off:
Dad, that’s great!  
but weighing me down is
Daddy, I will miss you.

 
 
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Origami wings by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Wings Will Come: Journey – Part 2 “Shore”

When big change calls us unexpectedly, we have a choice to respond. In this second poem from my collection “Wings Will Come: Journey,” I reflected on a night that my father started to feel a call for a change in his life. It made me think of when Jesus called his disciples from their familiarity – and how they had a choice to take the leap of faith to join Him.
 
The story of God’s work in my life during upheaval of my family’s move will continue next week with the third poem in the collection.
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
 
“Shore”
Foreshadowing
 
I won’t forget that evening
in the yellow glow of the kitchen light
casual after-work conversation interrupted
as you stepped into the room and asked,
“What do you think about Tucson?”
We loved it, of course. It meant southwest
desert vacations, grandparent visits, good cooking,
and fond memories. You say, “I think I’m going
to move there.” Find a job and go.
We laugh. You’ve said that before, when
days are hard and long hours pile
on you with a backhoe.
Tonight, we entertain the idea. We toy with
what-if and wouldn’t that be and can you imagine?
It’s that moment on the shore when God calls
and you’re in your fishing boat, dragged down in the
daily muck, and you wonder: what if I go?
 
and then you do.
 
 
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Shore by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Wings Will Come: Journey – Part 1 “Where did you go?”

I remember sitting across from a friend at a familiar pub, trying to explain the past few months to her. How my dad had taken a new job across the country in Arizona; how he, my mom, and my grandfather would all be moving out there; and how my little brother and I would be staying behind and renting the family home with some friends. Besides that framework, to my regret, I poured out all the bad stories. The stressors, the annoyances, the worst moments, and the conflicts. I hardly mentioned the good things, and I am pretty sure I didn’t mention God at all.

I needed perspective.

Though the change was still raw, I wanted to tackle my tangle of emotions and memories and go deeper. God was constantly at work in my life during this time, stitching blessings into a transforming tapestry. I recognized it, but I hadn’t claimed it as the greater truth yet. Sometimes we have to look backwards with a critical eye to see around the turmoil. My venue for this was poetry.

Every week for the next few months, I will be posting poems from the resulting collection, called Wings Will Come: Journey. In this collection, I tried to narrate the events and emotions of my closest family moving far away and to seek to see where God was working. I move (more or less) chronologically through the story, culminating with a poem that is a prayer of hope for continued growth, love, and peace for both myself and my family out there in the Wild West.

God bless,
Morgan

“Where did you go?”
The beginning

where did you go,
old days? better days,
rosy days, good days?
new days, stale days,
gray and cluttered days
pushed you away.
late at night I hear only
tension in your voice:
a strain of loss as you
buckle further under
the more, more, more.
as you stand sad and lonely
at the divide between
you and now.
those nights I prayed for
the joy that drove the beginning
to rise up again anew.
I prayed it for a long time:
save what is good here
before it is ash and
empty silver years.
God answered when
I wasn’t yet ready.

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Where did you go? by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

I sail

Happy New Year!

I am back with a new poem after my long break. This poem is about looking forward into the New Year and trusting to God for direction on the way.

Next week, I am going to begin posting a series of poems from a special collection I wrote last fall. It’s a personal story of God’s support, love, and goodness through times of upheaval.

God bless,
Morgan

“I sail”

I go to sleep on a dim shore,
drooping eyes trailing after the tide of
the old year as it slips out.

I wake on a raft on endless
water and my heart freezes as quietly
as rain into snowfall. I stare at storms and sunshine
mingled on a ring of horizons.

I have no compass but what I see
by night – let me learn dark vision:
night prayer to draw out the wisdom
for the journey of the day.

I go by Your way: You are
the spirit curled up on the raft,
whispering through storms and
standing to shield me when I
buckle beneath unknowns.

old shores are far gone,
home is an unseen harbor.
I cannot float here.
come, new year:
I sail.

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I sail by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.