Poetry

By Mary Margaret Hawkins


Morning Manna (Mosiah 7:19)

Early I arise to seek my morning manna
Before the sun outlines the day’s temporal claims and
Melts my intent.
Precious sustenance has rained before my day from
Heaven and lies generously scattered in tissue wafers
Free for the gathering.
Laying open the sacred books, I sift the living words.
Silently I grind and beat and bake them into
Fragrant, warm cakes—
Color of bdellium, tasting of honey and fresh oil.
Gratefully I consume the day’s sweet ration
Offered to preserve
Me in my wilderness wanderings. Why should I weep
For the feasts of Egypt or mourn for the rich meats
Of Babylon?
I desire only this simple morning miracle
Of living bread. It will satisfy until I sit
And sup in Canaan.

[photos] Electronic composition by Mark G. Budd; background: Photo © Dynamic Graphics

“Be Ye Therefore Perfect” (Matthew 5:48)

My hands
Do not
Carry the calluses of carpentry,
The symbols of salvation,
The power of creation.
My feet
Have not
Been bathed in tears,
Walked the path alone,
Supported the sins of humanity.
My mouth
Does not
Speak the purity of truth,
The forgiveness of souls,
The knowledge of eternity.
My heart
Was not
Stilled, then beat again,
Broken to make mankind whole,
Is not filled with the surety of my own self.
Perfect is to carry through.
I cannot redeem the sinner.
But I can love him even in his guilt.
I cannot raise the dead.
But I can sit with the dying.
I cannot heal the wounded.
But I can listen to their cries.
I cannot make whole body or spirit.
But I can hold them in their brokenness.
And in my flaws—
I act as proxy
Hands, feet, mouth, heart—
I can be
Even as He is.