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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Poem 007

Hide and Seek
She takes a long breath
and removes her shoes.
Between the toes of boots and slippers
it’s dusty. Long hairs have migrated
under the shoe tree and merged with
grey-coated carpet. She remembers

house dust is mostly skin, shed like snow.
Within seven years every cell is replaced.
Constant renewal. Yet we grow old. Her toe snags

a bag
of almost-ready-to-give-away clothes,
past indulgences one could almost forget,
but not quite.
The dirty things and hanging things
whisper with lingering
sweat and perfume,
the truth and the cover.

Go into your closet and pray.

Closing the door she
thinks about Holy God
kind of like a first and last name.

What does your name mean?
Hers means Graceful Lily.
Graceful Lily smiles

unable to conjure a face to go with Holy,

feels like: All heads down.
Mustn’t peek
even in the dark closet

with the door closed. Palms pressed
against her eyes,
bits of light whirl and sift
and she imagines an entry

into eternity,
shoe boxes and shelves, walls
fall away, openness reels outward,
gathering yesterdays and calling tomorrow,
the way the strike
of a church bell
announces beginnings and endings
and endless calling of the name...

Holy. Holy Holy
and nothing else seems
worth saying
so she chimes in
Holy Holy Holy and Holy


And she understands sorrow
because she is not

or even holy

and the closet is her cover.

And comfort. For a long long time…
was it time, or just being

with I AM?

She rises,
takes what she imagines to be
the hand
of the one who drove her home
on a dark night,

turns the palm up and places a kiss.
She opens the door with...

...thank you.


A few steps and she pauses,
shivers… and looks back… nah, nothing there…

…“Surely goodness and mercy will follow me…” —Psalm 23:6

Susan Cowger of Cheney, Washington is the Director of the ClearStory Gallery in Spokane. Her chapbook Scarab Hiding appeared from Finishing Line Press in 2006. She was a founding editor of the journal Rock & Sling, as was Laurie Klein. "Hide and Seek" emerges from reflections on Isaiah 55:1,6 and 12.