Monthly Archives: October 2007

Fishing Tournament 2

On a crisp Autumn Saturday, Thelma hums

And serves me a plate of eggs, bacon, and pancakes.

Years of curiosity had finally got the better of me

And I  was in Tidioute for the Fishing Tournament.

Down the street, children with their daddies are baiting hooks

While mothers stand ready with Band-Aids and Neosporin.

Further down the street, in a field,

Marching bands are gearing up for the big parade.

The Sun is bright for the last full weekend of September;

Perhaps his last hurrah before we settle into cold.

An old woman, her face wrinkled like the pages of a well-used Book,

Sits blind, listening to the children’s voices

Rising melodically above the beat of that distant Drummer.

She tells me her name is Eunice when I stop at her porch,

And that this is her eighty-first Fishing Tournament Weekend.

A distant buzzing drowns out her voice.

The Shriners warm up their engines.

The shrill brassy note of the fire whistle rises above it all,

A clear trumpet taking center stage.

The Tournament is over; the Parade is just begun.

Again, not really how it all went down. Just… musing.  

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Enslaved!

“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.”

~Romans 6:22

About a year and a half ago, I was finishing up my year of study at Lancaster Bible College (and Graduate School). One afternoon, I accompanied my friend Shandi on a routine trip to the mall. By the time I returned to school, I had a hole in my right ear. To be specific, I had a new hole in the cartilage of my right ear. I never pierced my ear lobes as a child. My sister longed for the day when she could get her ears pierced. I never had any interest. But for some reason, I decided to get my cartilage pierced that afternoon.

Occasionally, it still gets a little sore and slightly infected. Other than that, I rarely notice it’s there unless the person at SuperCuts grazes it with the comb. But I was thinking about how many people’s piercings have been a rite of passage, like my sister. She got her ears pierced as a birthday gift. Mine was not a rite of passage. But now I want it to be a reminder to me of something important. So I did some reading on the history and symbolism of ear piercing and found two interesting things that made me think.

In Old Testament times, a slave who had been set free could choose to remain with his master. If he chose to do so, the master pierced his ear to show that he was the master’s slave. The other historical reference that I found said that pierced ears were common among royalty, such as Julius Caesar. These two seem to be the antitheses of one another. I gave it further thought.

I have been freed from sin but I have chosen to be a slave to God. I was set free but chose to become stay with my Master and serve Him. This volunteer slavery has made me not only a servant but a child of my Master and as such, royalty! My God is not only my Master, He’s also a King and my loving Father.

No, I didn’t set out to get my ear pierced for symbolic reasons but if I think about it like that, it’s pretty darn cool. Like the prodigal son, I don’t even deserve to be a servant. But God has taken me into His royal family and made me His daughter.

Pretty. Darn. Cool.

Categories: 1st person, piercing, religion | 1 Comment

Fishing Tournament

The Fishing Tournament is advertised year-round

on the ten foot long sign that welcomes you to Tidioute.

The river’s always a murky green, even when it’s a murky white ice.

But they don’t fish in the river, or so I’m told.

They fish in the contributing creek,

Next to the house where my grandmother grew up.

On the way to the cemetery where her mother is buried,

Gramma talks about the way it used to be,

How the parking lot where the skateboarders are loitering

used to be a park where she played.

After the flowers are planted, Gramma is quiet.

We pass run down shops and an abandoned movie theatre.

My Gramma never went to the movies.

Gramma breaks the silence, “Are you hungry?”

I nod and we pull into the diner where she had her first “date.”

The grease of the cheeseburger is neutralized by the chocolate milkshake

and our waitress, a plump woman named Thelma, brings the check.

We pass a grocery store advertising over-priced cereal and pop

and several churches advertising under-priced salvation.

We cross the blue bridge and go back to our lives that don’t revolve around fish.

*This is not a factual poem. I started with a place and a person I knew and edited them until a new story came out. My grandmother did live in a town named Tidioute but it’s too small to have a diner. But there is a fishing tournament. Also, my grandmother(s) are dead and I’ve never driven to a cemetery with them. 

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Locked Box

Locked inside a box there lies
A sullen face with sullen eyes
The only way within to see
Is through the bars that hide the me
A lock  is absent from this chest
Hinges, openings, knobs, the rest
Invisible, they don’t exist
And the bars surrounded by a mist
“You can’t see me!” their prisoner cries
With sullen face and sullen eyes
“You can’t come in!” the real me cries
With sullen face and sullen eyes

If you find me, tell me that you love me. If I’ll hear you, tell me over and over again…

Categories: Blogroll, Poetry | 1 Comment

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