Briefing from the Sunday Review Board

Illustration by Cameren Harper
@CamHarpArt

Briefing from the Sunday Review Board

_____“Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world,
_____but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” – Romans 12:2 (NIV)
 
my dear friends     i give thanks whenever i remember you
performing the Sunday liturgy in your private domiciles
as you fritter the late-winter daylight     heads bowed
to the gardens you cultivate in solitude     in which the holy grapes
of indolence germinate & swell into such harvests as only a protracted
back surgery recovery may ferment into sacred     existential wine

imbibe     i pray     & rejoice in your propitious
proximity to those who are sanctified:

Blessed be the Teenagers

__________greasified & bespectacled
though they be     for lolling with you on the couch
to watch an “old” movie from two thousand & three
for getting most of the cheesy references to last century
& even laughing aloud (albeit dubiously)     as you’ve
been all the while vaunting the previous night’s travesty
of red flannel covered in Mickey Mouse heads
purple soccer shorts     & magenta knee-high socks
_____& for not only seeming not to mind your ensemble
but also refraining from being put out by the three-inch-
long grey whisker sticking bolt straight out of your temple
from whence it had migrated     undiscovered     until crossing
the evidentiary vista’s periphery

Blessed be the Husband
 
__________for disarming your gesticulating
dismay with his velvety quip     “It’s actually white”
which he punctuates with an ironic kiss     before slipping
out the door like the Count of Monte Cristo to grab
a late     take-out lunch called “linner”    thusly
exercising his seasoned prowess as a nuclear engineer
who (having remained at all times cognizant of the breeder
reactor’s categorical purpose) has managed the containment
area around these billions of atoms your half-life needed
to split in provisioning wholeness for your progeny—

_____namely     your exquisite boy     who took off
at birth on a trajectory through the complex system
of boons & hazards some call autism     which you try to follow
corkscrewing like a solid-fuel rocket that’s lost a fin mid-flight
_____& your willful-sweet girl     whose arrival
from the spacetime continuum came sooner than expected
replete with congenital array of warp-drive clairvoyance
an uncanny talent for art     & a heart anomaly requiring
multiple interventions that have left
__________distortions
rip-roaring in her vector field—

by stabilizing within his perimeter both your incendiary
preoccupation with fissile potential     & its eventual fallout
(a. k. a. forty-something)     an advanced state of spiritual
decay known to impel the trade of a semi-functional uterus
for a pair of robust guinea pig siblings     who     in all likelihood
will outlive god

Blessed     surely     be the Son 
 
__________for being but seventeen
yet somehow finding his way     unprompted
to the shower no later than three pee em
_____& for his gorgeous baritone honed by years
of lessons now forsaken for countertenor arias
redolent of a derailed train

O     Blessed     indeed     be the Daughter

__________for the whiling away
of so many precious hours closed up in her bedroom
to conduct her assays of fan tributes on YouTube
_____& for the eternities of wringing crusades waged
on your universe trussed in her small     perfect hands

Amen!

STEPHANIE L. HARPER

“Briefing from the Sunday Review Board” appears in my chapbook, The Death’s-Head’s Testament (<< click link for poem samples, commentary, and ordering information).  I’ve decided once and for all to retire it from the cyberspace slush pile, and to give it the loving home it deserves, here, in the arms of the WordPress poetry community.
❤ -SLH

6 thoughts on “Briefing from the Sunday Review Board

  1. Well, as one set of arms of the WordPress poetry community, this is embraced with gratitude … my son and my daughter might’ve triggered such from me back in the days they were both under the roof … only back then, my inner poet was still asleep … and even now, I could never contribute the vocabulary thrusts and ripples that seem to come effortlessly for you. Bravo for the poetics. But especially bravo for the mothering … perspective, affection, patience … your strengths leave me in awe. Life would seem empty now if I’d not had a long spell of “propitious proximity” to teenagers (though at the time I confess to wishing for less) .
    (Remembering in contrast a tantrum my 2 once triggered … I lost all control … threw the thick Austin phone-book into their wrestling match when my words fell short … the book fell a bit short, too, luckily … landing a few inches shy of their feet … splitting in half … bringing all 3 of us to our knees in laughter.)
    I love the drawing shown with this … your daughter’s?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jazz, you are so very dear! I wish I could hug you back this moment! ♥️

      Now that I’m in Indiana for school, I’m lacking in the propitious proximity to sanctified offspring department, but I believe it’s all for the best, and they’re coming to visit me for Thanksgiving, which is not too far off now!

      Thank you for sharing your tantrum anecdote — I so relate! My kids are well versed in seeing emotions play out in real time. I’ve made a point of being transparent with them, and I think it does make for a stronger connection.

      Yes, the drawing is Cameren’s — just something she scribbled about 4 years ago (at about age 15). She’s crazy talented.

      Liked by 1 person

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