Read an Excerpt
Thank Goodness by Andrea Gibson
(For Buddy Wakefield)
At the end of your ten day meditation retreat you got in your car drove thirty peaceful feet and ran over a bird,
splayed its holy guys on the pavement like God finger-painting "F U”
across that deep breath you were holding the way your mother held her first born.
You thank goodness were torn from the Bible the day before they burned it for the verse about dancing to tambourines.
Once you saw the blood of Christ on a knife carving redwood trees into church pews.
Now every Sunday morning you hear glaciers melting and you cry easy as a one night stand never ever is when you see the feathers in your rear-view mirror scattering like prayers searching for a safe place to land.
Hold me to my word when I tell you I will leave today,
catch a bus ticket west just to stand in the center of your highway blocking traffic 'til every feather's answered.
I've see too many prayers caught in the grills of 18
wheelers and folks like us got shoulder blades that rust in the rain,
but they're still g sharp whenever our spinal chords are tuned to the key of redemption.
So go ahead world pick us to make things better.
We've been building a bridge through the center of this song since Mother Theresa replaced the walls of her church with the weeping cries of Calcutta's orphaned ghettos.
You wanna know what the right wing never got?
We never question the existence of God.
What we question is his bulldozer turning Palestine into a gas chamber.
What we question is the manger in Macy's and the sweatshops our children call the North Pole.
What we question are the sixty swollen lashes on the back of a girl found guilty of the crime of allowing herself to be brutally raped.
What we question is the idea of a heaven having gates.
Have you never stood on the end of pier watching the moon live up to her name?
Have you never looked in the eyes of a thief and seen his children's hungry bellies?
Some days my heart beats so fast my ribcage sounds like a frickin' railroad track and my breath is a train I just can't catch.
So when my friends go filling their lungs with YES,
when they're peeling off their armor and falling like snowflakes on your holy tongue, God collects the feathers...