By That I Mean, Praise, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

By That I Mean, Praise

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

Take the time to look,

With all reverence and wonder,

At the elegant curling folds of the purple iris,

Or its perfectly formed concave inner trinity,

Or at the yellow daffodils

Declaring spring from their ruffled trumpets,

Or at the cherry blossom petals

Snowing into the wind—

 

Every curl, every trumpet, every petal

Is different from all the rest.

 

Exalt the vastness of variety.

Why limit the god of possibilities?

What exactly are you afraid of?

 

At least try to study—and by that, I mean

Praise—

How each and every buttercup

Holds a different piece of the sun,

How each and every helicopter seed

Whirling from the maple tree

Has its own fingerprint,

How each and every pink dogwood blossom

Looks like a different pink nun lying on her back

Singing to the blue mantle of the sky.

 

If you won’t invest the time, then do not

Try and take away the dignity of differences

And sweep them under the rug of easy things to say.

 

Nearly all the violence in the world

Stems from the delusion that sameness

Is the goal, that sameness is somehow

Ordained by the almighty, that somehow,

Sameness means complete security,

That somehow sameness brings calm.

 

Yes, if we cut each other on the hand

We both bleed red.  Look into my eyes

Before you draw the blade across my skin.

If you truly saw yourself then you would put the blade away.

 

These bodies, these genders, these multiplicities

Of singing voices, are not a threat

To your whiteness or religion—

They are revelations of a power so great,

So vast, that it gave birth even to you.

Stand firmly in your faith–trust the providence of your god,

For we are here—this endless field of wild flowers—

Swaying in the sun, we are here announcing

The god beyond the books, we are here

Proclaiming the glory of medley, we are here

To enunciate the one root holding us all together—

The one root of the right, and the majesty

To exist in this boundless, unending hymn of praise.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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