Monday, April 21, 2014


Wooden Woman takes in a long breath.
This is where she takes off her shoes.
Between the toes of Engineers boots and hers
it’s dusty. Long hairs have migrated
under the shoe tree and merged with
grey-coated carpet. Wooden Woman remembers

house dust is mostly skin, cells 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 the lingering scent
of sweat and perfume,
the truth and the cover.

Go into your closet and pray.

Wooden Woman is a literalist.
And a closet figurative -ist.

She closes the door and
thinks about Holy God
kind of like a first and last name.

What does your name mean?
Wooden Woman means Graceful Lily.
Graceful Lily is laughing

unable to conjure a face to go with Holy,

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

with the door closed. Wooden Woman
presses her palms against her eyes,
bits of light whirl and sift.
Wooden Woman imagines this as an entry
into eternity,

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

Holy. Holy Holy 
and there seems nothing else
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 he who drove her home
on a dark night,

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

...thank you.




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

…“Surely goodness and mercy will follow you…” 

 –Psalm 23:6



Craig and Bethany said...

Brilliant. Prayer, a portal, a secret, a place. Wooden Woman steps in and HOLY happens. Even the particles of dust testify. Everything becomes REAL. Becoming REAL, this is why we pray. REAL. And who knows what will follow you out.

Lovely, lovely piece.

Brian Miller said...

dont you love those moments you feel his holiness so intensely, just want to breathe it in...

Kathy said...

So beautiful, I needed a whole day to pull it all IN. I can picture you there, in your literal prayer closet...and my heart overflows with GREAT JOY knowing that He is there with you; with us. SURELY His Goodness and His Mercy will follow you!

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thefisherlady said...

in His presence
His Kingdom is within us
...and the closet is her cover...
love that, graceful lily
Wooden Woman

so beautiful

Shelley Rubinstein said...

I am a holy closet literalist as well
one of the places I approach the wholly holy throne of grace
in all my wholly unholiness
because of the precious blood of the Lamb

my name means different things
depending on who you ask
and what language they speak
in the Gaelic ~ she who lives on the edge of the meadow
in Hebrew ~ God wholly holy says (the word chunk of His Name
is actually there, "EL")
and then there is the word chunk for mine
I am my Beloved's and He is MINE..."
if you ask an Englishman he would say without hesitation ~
little shell ~ protector of life

One of my missions in life
is to find out what people's names mean for them
I have found it to be an explanation,
a prophecy,
and a beacon of protection
that keeps us from turning to the left or to the right when our name would point us
straight to the Creator
Who made us
to be named

Heard a couple preachers talking on the radio
they said the animals we name
will join us in heaven
naming is couched and rooted in love and in destiny

since all of creation will be there proclaiming and praising the King
I believe those two preachers
though I couldn't tell you their names...
God knows
and I feel His smile when I talk about Him
and His marvelous ideas
like love
and grace
and language
He created them
and He writes the best stories
in our hearts