By Laura Cline

Real

 
 
If he only appears in faithless clichés 
the “right” words yet gutted 
and hollow; if the sounds of stale chords,
senselessly reverberating nothingness, 
supposedly signal his coming…
 
If his face is stained glass, a rainbow of color
but two-dimensional, flat, superficially profound;
if sacraments and ceremony 
replace the reality and deaden the 
senses, mirroring only ritual...
 
If he’s shaped with paper-mâché,
carefully pasted and artfully designed
but only concealing vacancy; if pain and 
tears bore holes that we mend with the tape of our 
good intentions and call it his grace...
 
Then that is alone.
 
But if he is not our artwork at all; if he defies our
traditions, redemptively reveals the paucity 
hidden in our claims of piety; if his form is human 
flesh; if his word isn’t merely an echo in the wind
but cuts in order to heal, restores, and fills...
 
Then that is real and like coming home.
 

This poem was originally published at Laura’s blog.

About the Author

Laura Cline lives in Knoxville, Tennessee and is engaged to be married to her fiancé Trip in the summer of 2016. Laura has her Master's degree in English from The University of Tennessee and currently is an English Instructor at Pellissippi State Community College where she teaches writing and literature classes. 

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