Rituals Shared, a New Poem by Joseph Anthony

Rituals Shared


Joseph Anthony


Sweeping the stoop of the shop with quick,
brisk motions,

Scattering maple tree seeds into helicoptering

Pausing to look at the rising spring sun, he
removes his hat,

Wipes his brow, squints at the sky, hears the

Early morning train, then thanks God for
another day

Of doing what he loves. 


Slowly he resumes his dance with the broom,
breathing in

Images of his children and grandchildren,
breathing out

Whispered apologies for losing his patience
the day before,

Resolving to remember he was young once too.


He turns, pushes open the screen door that
rings the little 

Bells at the top of the frame, enters the shop,
turns the 

“Come in We’re Open/Sorry We’re Closed” sign to 

in We’re 


Brewing coffee aroma winds its way into his

Nostrils as he breathes deeply possibilities and 

Remembrances, he ties the white apron around his waist, 

Thanks God for another day of doing
what he loves, 

And then begins,

First pausing to look down at the
bread board,

He then sweeps his hand across the cool

With the same tenderness he has used for half
a century.


He takes out the silver bowl of dough from the

Silver refrigerator, lifts the white cloth that
covers the bowl,

Folds it neatly into a square and places it


He then tosses three handfuls of flour across 

The bread board, lifts the dough allowing it to exhale 

and as he begins kneading he sings, 

Sings morning prayers, filling his lungs with the fragrance 

Of baking bread, 

And his
heart with d
evotion to Saint Elizabeth, 

And for a moment he is
transported t
o the Basilica 

Of Santa Maria in ancient Rome; 

He kneels before the infant, folds his hands
to pray,

And as he does loaves of bread spill from his

Turning into heaps of roses, and he weeps,

Weeps knowing he saw the infant nod,

And then he rises, rises and smiles, thanking

For another day of doing what he loves, 

And as he rises the
little bells ring,

Ring at the opening of the door to the shop,
bringing him 

Back to the kneading, back to his hands, and he

Beams a greeting to the customer who has come
as he does

Every morning for coffee, for bread, and for
the humanity

Of rituals shared.



Thank you for your kind donations to the Wonder Child Blog

Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog

Be Amazed, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

Be Amazed


Jennifer Angelina Petro




I am.

I woke this morning

To riotous birdsong.

As I listened, letting the staccato melodies

Sink in, I became increasingly amazed.


Think about it:

We are awakened

By singing.


Now, before you think about it too hard,

Let the truth of that statement be.

Hold it there for a few seconds,

And then go ahead and travel the winding road

Of questions and temporary answers

As to why birds sing—if you need to.

You can do that and have fun doing that.

You could also simply relish the reality—

Whatever divine randomness is out there

And in here, it chose to wake us up by singing—

By birds singing.


It could have chosen to wake us up


With construction rigging every day.

It could have chosen to wake us up

To thunderous, monotonous silence.

It could have chosen not to wake us up at all.

But it didn’t.  The divine chose to wake us up

To singing.


Keep that in mind–uppermost in mind

When you begin to doubt hope, beauty,

And the purpose of things,

Remember this truth

And allow yourself to be amazed.


Once you are good and awake

Join the chorus–let your life sing,

Everywhere you rush and run, dart and soar,

Bank and circle, glide and flutter–

May your song awaken someone–anyone

Who simply hears the song of your life—

The overarching beauty and music of who you are

And how you choose to live.




Thank you for your kind contributions to helping keep the Wonder Child Blog going.

Copyright Jennifer Angelina Petro of the Wonder Child Blog