Wings Will Come: Journey – Part 12 “Family Photos”

My PopPop was the next person to move with my parents to Arizona. My dad flew back from the new house to fly him out to the west. For a little while, we were all back together again. We took that time to crowd together in a family photo in our house of boxes and change, remembering what had been and looking ahead together to what will be. God blesses us with moments of memory, and He strengthens us to keep walking into a new present with new possibilities.
 
To catch up for the past few weeks, I will be posting several poems of the collection in short succession. Look for the thirteenth poem of my collection, “Wings Will Come: Journey.”
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
“Family photos”
To all my family
 
the five of us cram together to
fit in the camera lens
one last time before the house
is different and father and grandfather
spread wings to the West.
 
after the flash, we peer at
the tiny digital screen
to make sure we’re all there.
 
what fills the family photo frame
will change.
even as the takeoff still roars
in my ears I see different faces
crowd around me, put hands
on my shoulder, and smile.
some are new and some
are as well known
to me as my innermost bones.
 
I display the new photos and the old
side-by-side in my heart.
Under this sun, they each take
their place and their time:
equal jewels to hold.
 
 
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Family Photos 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 11 “Just Us”

My brother drove west with my father to help him get settled in my parents’ new house in Arizona. After a few weeks, I flew out to meet my brother for our friends’ wedding in New Mexico, after which he and I flew home together. It had been almost a month since we’d seen each other, and the weekend trip in New Mexico was full of catching up and then looking ahead at the last steps of the move. One thing I know for certain is that my brother was one of the greatest blessings God gave me throughout this time. Without his calm, wisdom, faith, and support, I don’t know I would have gotten through. This poem is for Duncan, brother and friend.
 
Next week, I continue the story of my family’s move and God’s goodness in the change in the twelfth poem of my collection, “Wings Will Come: Journey.”
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
 
“Just Us “
To Duncan
 
sandy-bright glare of
New Mexico highway flashes by
while brother and sister
fill the rental car with stories
from East and West,
swapping tales like trading cards.
 
it is just us out here,
rolling on to celebrate
the new beginnings
of our friends in the mountains.
 
it is just us going back.
we don’t feel ready.
we don’t have answers.
in the pitch-black drive
winding out of the mountains
to a morning flight out
we figure one thing:
we are going home.
what that is has changed
and will change.
we are half of our family,
East to their West.
 
Even unready, I
am at least not alone.
we won’t have the answers,
but we will have enough.
We say to each other:
we have gotten this far.
 
brother and sister
take flight home.
what that is has changed
and will change
into new beginnings.
 
 
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Just Us by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Wings Will Come: Journey – Part 10 “Phone Line”

My parents and grandfather moved out to Arizona in stages, and my dad was the first to leave. The first few weeks without him were surreal, but reality settled in slowly but surely, and the separation seemed enormous. Looking back on that time, though, I am now able to see that God continued to connect and sustain my family despite the new distance between us.
 
Next week, I continue the story of my family’s move and God’s goodness in the change in the eleventh poem of my collection, “Wings Will Come: Journey.”
 
God bless,
Morgan
 

“Phone Line”
To Dad
 
You leave first.
on a sunny summer morning
     we stand at the top of
     our driveway, your Prius packed
         to bursting for your journey.
I pretend you’re leaving on
       a business trip
     or a vacation.
I pretend you’ll be right back.
 
then you’re sending pictures
    of the new house,
telling us about your day
     across a phone line.
I desperately fill in the distance with 
      shovelfuls of it’s not really happening.
 
but when it’s not really happening
   suddenly becomes it is
my strong front crumbles
       into rainfall.
 
Change can be ignored
     but transformation consumes.
When pretending runs dry
     I look for deeper waters
that will sustain.
 
The phone line and the pictures
     tutor me, one on one,
that I have focused on the divide
       and not the connection.
God does not make the miles
      between us shrink, 
      but He shows me that our bonds
                       are growing and stretching
              along highways to unknowns
       and don’t come untied.

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

Wings Will Come: Journey – Part 9 “Refuge”

Amidst the challenges and scurry of moving my parents and grandfather out to Arizona, another blow struck our family. My grandmother had cancer. New pressures and worries poured on top of our pile of concerns, but my mom was quick to call out the blessing in the whirlwind: that she would be moving out to join her mother in Arizona at a time when her mother needed her the most.
 
I do not believe God orchestrates every happening in our world, but I do believe that when we listen to His call, He pulls us toward paths where we can help others in ways we never imagined.
 
Next week, I continue the story of my family’s move and God’s goodness in the change in the tenth poem of my collection, “Wings Will Come: Journey.”
 
God bless,
Morgan
 
 
“Refuge”
News of cancer
 
the news is cannon fire:
I hear the explosion
distantly, watch the shot
coming toward me but still
feel the hard shock of the impact,
and I fall in the rubble
of the ordinary.
 
in the talk of diagnoses,
next steps, surgery, and treatments
for your mother out west, who has been
excitedly waiting for your arrival,
you ask aloud: why?
but you are brave and steadfast
no matter that our outer walls
have taken blows tonight.
You pause to say: it is good we will
be there.
 
I don’t understand the Lord’s timing,
nor the whys of the world,
but I know He moves us
where He needs us, if we will go.
 
we stand back up,
face ahead, and wave
an ever-bold banner.
this far in, we know
He keeps our walls.
 
 
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Refuge by Morgan Prettyman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.