If we could split ourselves like a crack in the cement (children's names written when wet a heart a flower a handprint) like that mystical bread (calloused hands holding up hunger and night sweats and the one we once loved) we would say in our first voice: Law and Order out of Chaos we would listen and obey what is right teach our children to look both ways (packing ourselves in a bubble paper wrap-safe for shipping from this world to the next) and this would be good and called for and proper but sometimes we would say in our second voice: Marcellus (age 9) Marquita (age 6) Titus (age 5) Regina (age 13) Debbie Danisha and Diante it would be a candle song in the dark times and when the winged parts of our democracy begin to topple off the pillars' heads crushing more than names on the threshing floor of the Rotunda and when to be a citizen is to be an autumn fawn caught at night in oncoming brightnesses and when the only hand that can reach out is the one that has already been reached to once before in a cold creek, in a white robe then indeed those hands must reach because what seemed all order is chaos it takes a delicate hand to hold the brush that daubs in the details of a country, a hand not weighted by a weapon (for such are the tools that construct chaos) and yet with both tongues we would praise the balance- that golden thread is all that holds us in the end
Rose Marie Berger is a pastor of Sojourners Community in Washington, D.C.
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