But Most of All

I wrote this piece as part of a poetry journal/final project for a class in seminary called, appropriately, Poetry and the Bible. It came out of a period of time–I believe it was at the middle point of my graduate studies–where I spent quite a bit of time contemplating what my late father would think of my life at that juncture, what it would be like to  discuss life and love with him as an adult, AND regret over not repairing our relationship sooner than we did. 

Feel free to let me know what you think. – Jarrod

 

If I could turn back time

I wouldn’t be Cher,

but I’d go back to Oct 2003 at Wrigley Field

and tackle Steve Bartman.

I’d cut off the first mullet,

steal the first pair of acid wash jeans.

I’d even destroy all the synthesizers.

Well, maybe not Van Halen’s.

I’d beg Wham! to PLEASE put on some pants.

I’d work on the set of Thriller.

I’d fly to San Francisco

and sip on a latte with Harvey Milk,

grab a scone with John Lennon,

even gnaw on some naan with Ghandi;

okay only when he wasn’t striking.

I’d be a Freedom Rider,

sit at Woolworth’s Lunch Counter,

shed tears while standing in awe

as he dreamt at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial.

I’d teach the slaveowners Scripture.

Hell… I’d even try to saddle up on a dinosaur.

But most of all

I’d tell you I’m sorry.

That I forgive you.

That I wish I could take back

all the cruel things that slipped off my tongue.

That I’d do anything to destroy those walls

between us,

the walls we only began to tear down.

That I am here,

strong, brave, confident, able to love

because of you.

If I could turn back time

I would tell you one more time

that I love you.

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Bullets

I wrote the below poem almost a decade ago for a creative writing class at my alma mater the University of Illinois. The Iraq War was still in its early stages and I felt the poem was rather apropos at the time I wrote it. I chose it as my first creative writing piece to share as I feel it is still apropos considering the events of this year. 

I hope you enjoy.

-Jarrod

Bullets helped to build this nation,
now they help to tear it apart.
They scream of hatred and anger,
sing a chorus of pain and fear.
The putrid smell of corruption,
lingers with the smoke they leave behind.
The path they take,
cuts through families and friends,
taking with them true love,
love that was never shown enough,
or unrequited love never declared,
and shattering hopes and dreams,
leaving them in fragments with flesh and bone,
reverberating a sad and melancholy tone,
of bitterness and regret.
And let’s not forget,
how they are, for some,
the last resort for a ticket,
from this place.
Created by those who make money
on death and destruction,
they stifle a mother’s cry,
or the conscience of the desperate.